Will reusing your surgical mask cause acne?

Mask acne, or ‘maskne’ as people would call it, is one of the most common skin issues that people have with surgical masks, N95 masks, N95 respirators, and other personal protective equipment. The surgical masks are also the most commonly used products that are said to cause a lot of acne on the wearer. 

With that, this article aims to provide information on some commonly asked questions about the use of surgical masks and their relationship with the prevalence of acne on the face. 

Does Using Surgical Mask Cause Acne?

The answer is yes, surgical masks can cause acne and that is already settled. According to experts, there are a few ways how masks can cause breakouts on individuals and these are very important factors to consider. 

Rubbing

When the surgical mask would rub your skin and your face through friction, you will probably have skin chafing and cause acne. It would feel like rug burn and your skin will be more prone to acne. The bridge of your nose, as well as where the elastic bands hit behind the ears, and your chin are areas that are highly vulnerable to this cause of acne.

Overly Tight Masks

When the mask that you wear is overly tight, it can cause enough pressure on your skin causing it to break down and have more acne than is expected. You will see that an overly tight mask may cause severe damage not just on your skin but on the already acne prone areas of your face. 

Irritation

If you are allergic to the surgical mask that you are wearing, you will probably have to deal with breakouts. The material of the mask absorbs the skin’s natural oils. You may end up having a dry face and skin. This will irritate the face more and cause problems. 

Occlusion

Occlusion is a situation that happens when your breath gets trapped beneath the surgical mask and makes the skin warm and moist. This causes the pores to get clogged and can become pimples or acne in the long run. 

The Environment

The environment that you are in coupled with the surgical mask can cause you more harm than good. You may end up with a breakout situation classified as folliculitis, which is when yeast or bacteria infect hair follicles.

Does Reusing A Surgical Mask Cause Acne?

The answer is yes, reusing a surgical mask can cause acne. For some, even if the surgical mask is brand new, there is already a high possibility of contracting acne so it is not surprising that reusing a surgical mask can cause acne. 

Why is this the case? When residue from fabric softeners and detergents get stuck underneath the surgical mask, it can cause irritation. Eventually, the irritation causes inflammation and the skin suffers acne breakouts, dry patches, peeling, redness, and other skin problems.

What Are The Things To Do To Prevent Mask Acne?

To prevent mask acne, you should do the following:

Always Wash Your Hands

Always wash your hands and do not touch your face. This is self explanatory.

Change Your Surgical Mask Every Four Hours

You may need to change your surgical mask every four hours. Less exposure to the same old surgical mask and making sure that you have a fresh surgical mask every four to six hours can keep your skin protected. Change your surgical masks every four hours so you can have everything that you need.

Keep Your Skin Properly Hydrated

Drinking lots of water will help you keep yourself properly hydrated. This is the best way to protect your skin by making sure that you are properly moisturized inside out. When your skin is properly hydrated, you can have all of the protection that you need and more.

Consult With A Dermatologist

If you already have sensitive skin and you know that you are prone with acne breakouts, you should consult with a dermatologist and ask them about the best kind of surgical mask that you can use. Consult with an expert and ask the dermatologist about the best brands of surgical masks that will work well on sensitive skin.

I Have Mask Acne, Now What?

Breakouts are not usually bad and may get handled without going to the doctor. However, mask acne is something very unpredictable because the wearer cannot get rid of wearing the surgical mask and must do so. Hence, the immediate cause of the mask acne cannot be prevented. With that, if you already have mask acne, you should do the following:

  • Change your surgical mask brand;
  • Make sure that you clean your face before and after using the surgical mask;
  • Prevent going out so you have no need to wear a surgical mask; and
  • Do your best to keep your face and your hands clean always.

Take Care Of Your Skin

Acne may seem like a not so serious problem for many individuals. For some, it is a mere skin condition that could be addressed by individuals taking care of their skin. Unfortunately, for others, acne can cause a lot of problems like anxiety, depression, as well as other infections. With that, it is important that even if you wear surgical masks, N95 masks, N95 respirators, and other personal protective equipment, you should not forget that you can always take care of your skin. You are always going to have a good experience when you take good care of yourself. 

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