We all want to enjoy daily outdoor activities as safely as possible. Masks and facial coverings, which should be worn properly over the nose and mouth, have become fundamental and ubiquitous methods to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19. However, as the summer has heated up, masks can present new challenges for our skin. On the bright side, facial coverings may provide some added protection from the sun’s harmful rays if you spend time outside.
Prolonged use of masks and facial covers can trigger new problems for your skin or aggravate preexisting skin conditions. Masks can create a damp and dirty environment. This may lead to clogged pores and acne-much like wearing tight fitting workout clothing. Masks can also irritate the skin where they fit more tightly. At times, it is possible to become allergic to the materials from which the mask is made or washed in.
Despite problems that may result from wearing masks, there are many simple solutions to combating symptoms that may arise.
- When it is safe, take a break from wearing masks.
- Rotate masks that you wear and ensure that they are clean and dry before reuse.
- If there are areas of friction where the mask meets the skin, try Vaseline or similar moisturizer to limit rubbing.
- Avoid over use of heavy makeups or skin products that may clog pores, but don’t forget to apply sunscreen to exposed areas.
- Use a gentle moisturizer or moisturizing cleanser.
- Avoid harsh soaps and scrubbing, which can cause further irritation.
Stay safe and take care of your skin. If problems do not resolve, contact Dr. Charles Vainder for further management.