Wearing a face mask for a longer duration? Here’s how to protect your skin from irritation

Follow these tips, and don’t let your skin feel troubled because of the mask during these tough COVID-19 times! 

The COVID-19 pandemic has gripped the entire globe and left more than 30 million people infected so far. Naturally, the best way to prevent the spread of viruses is to wear a mask. In fact, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended people to wear cloth masks whenever they step out of the house. While healthcare professionals are used to wearing masks for extended periods of time, others too cannot avoid the mask, especially during running errands.

While masks can help protect you from the COVID-19 infection, they can surely cause irritation to the skin and even lead to skin damage if worn for a longer duration of time. Not to miss, several people are now developing maskne, which is a term used to describe the acne caused in the area where the mask is mounted. From bruising, cuts, redness to post-inflammatory skin darkening, a mask can lead to severe damage to the skin.

How does a mask cause skin irritation?

When a person wears a mask, their skin gets extremely sensitive as the skin barrier gets damaged by the direct friction. Secondly, the mask can trap moisture, oil, dust and other impurities on the skin, which can eventually lead to skin problems like acne, eczema and rosacea. Scaling and redness are also common symptoms. Additionally, no sufficient air supply can also lead to skin conditions.

Tips to effectively deal with skin issues caused by wearing a mask

  1. Always keep your mask a little loose that it does not bruise your skin
  2. Make sure to remove the mask when you're alone, like at home
  3. Wash your face regularly twice a day with soap and water to avoid irritation
  4. After washing your face, make sure to use barrier creams or petroleum jelly
  5. Always replace a wet mask and carry extra ones if you’re out for a longer time
  6. Wash cotton masks frequently to avoid infection
  7. Apply hypoallergenic moisturiser before you put a mask on
  8. Make sure to avoid any makeup when wearing a mask because it can clog your pores and then lead to breakouts. If needed, only use non-comedogenic and oil-free products
  9. Avoid trying new skincare products because they can irritate your skin as wearing a mask regularly can make your skin overly sensitive.
  10. Use of chemical peels, exfoliants and retinoids are a strict no-no in this COVID-19 era.
Let’s fight coronavirus, albeit with a happy and healthy skin!