Can N95 masks cause acne?

N95 masks and N95 respirators are undoubtedly essential antiviral supplies during the current pandemic. While reusable face mask options are advised for kids and the general public, healthcare professionals are inclined to wear a disposable face mask with a higher filtration efficiency.

The N95 mask is rated among the best single-use disposable face masks because of its many uses and its efficiency. The N95 mask may be for sale online and healthcare facilities buy them in bulk or wholesale.

In the USA, the Trump government already cited a law that will increase the N95 mask production. Now it is expected that more N95 mask supplies will be delivered to the United States, especially 3M N95 masks. Popular right now are 3M 8511, 1860, and 3M 8210 masks. KN95 masks are yet to be especially popular in the country.

For the protection of everyone in the medical field, the N95 mask is favored over the typical surgical mask used in hospitals prior to the pandemic. The N95 mask has a 95 percent filtration efficiency and can block out smoke, dust, and offers virus protection. This level of protection is only found in the N95 mask.

Wearing an N95 mask can cause breakouts?

Wearing a face mask like the N95 mask is an important procedure meant to decrease the spread of the coronavirus. As the pandemic linger, the N95 mask has become more of an essential, though scarce the N95 mask may be at present.

However, there are concerns about the N95 mask causing or worsening breakouts, rashes, and similar skin problems on one’s face. Yet, acne and facial breakouts, though maybe a side effect of mask use, is not always to be blamed on the N95 mask.

Who is prone to getting skin problems from wearing an N95 mask?

It is likely that the people who are already experiencing or have to experience skin issues will be the ones to experience N95 mask related acne and rashes. If you have allergies, eczema, acne, or rosacea even when you have not used an N95 mask before, you are likely to get them again when you wear an N95 mask.

Furthermore, those who have a sensitivity to dry or humid air may experience skin issues when they wear an N95 mask. Why so?

Keep in mind that the skin around the mouth, nose, and chin are sensitive or delicate. Now the N95 mask covers such areas on the face. But, the area around the eyes may also get affected when you wear an N95 mask.

Moreover, age may also increase the likelihood of skin issues when wearing an N95 mask. It is said that women ages 20 to 60 are most likely to experience skin issues related to the N95 mask, the cause of which remains unknown.

Healthcare workers experience skin issues from N95 mask

Let us use a simple analogy to experience N95 mask related skin issues: when you tie a hair tie on your wrist, it is likely that you will see an imprint on your skin. In the same way, a tight-fitting N95 mask can put pressure on the delicate area of your face which can lead to breakouts.

Add to that hours-long shifts, N95 mask related skin issues increase in likelihood.

It should be noted that high moisture and friction can cause skin irritations. Discoloration and bruising may also occur because of such an experience from wearing an N95 mask. However, long-term damage is unlikely even where inflammation and discoloration occur on the surface of the skin. Such facial damage from N95 mask use may be corrected.

Maskne as a real condition

The N95 mask causing skin acne is a true condition happening to healthcare workers and those who don an N95 mask. Acne mechanic or maskne is the term for such an occurrence. The same happens when a helmet rubs on the face of a football player, causing maskne.

The most at risk of maskne are healthcare and frontline workers who regularly need to use an N95 mask. The reason being, the tight-fitting N95 mask used for extended periods causes issues to the face.

Choose the material and fit carefully

N95 mask breakouts may be avoided when you choose the right material. The N95 mask made of cotton or polyester blend is fairly gentle on the skin. Such materials decrease friction that can irritate the face.

Furthermore, it is possible that N95 mask related skin issues are caused by allergies to a certain chemical that could spark breakouts. Synthetic fabrics, heavily scented detergents, or cleansers from decontaminating an N95 mask may cause rashes and itching.

Moreover, ensure that the N95 mask fits you properly and is not too tight. To avoid chafing, the N95 mask should not be too tight, yet to ensure efficiency, should not gap too much. The N95 mask that adjusts to the size and shape of one’s face using ties are preferable.

What to do if you have N95 mask related acne?

To treat N95 mask acne or maskne, you may use an over-the-counter treatment called benzoyl peroxide. Use this product for spot-treatment only. Start with 2.5 percent or 5 percent concentration. A 10 percent concentration is not necessary.

For those who use retinol for skin issues, use retinol on one night and spot treatment with benzoyl peroxide the next night in alternative times.

For those with darker skin or those who develop hyperpigmentation due to N95 mask acne, use a topical treatment called glycolic acid Such treatment may be used for treating darkening of the skin and blemishes.

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