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How to soothe skin irritation from mask-wearing

Wearing your mask helps protects you from others, and protects others from you during this pandemic. But it can also cause skin issues. Some of the most common are acne, excessive dryness and skin irritation, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association.

The Association provides the following tips to help combat these common issues.

  • Follow a gentle skin care routine
    • Wash your face with lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser.
    • Use your fingertips and try to avoid scrubbing your skin.
    • Pat dry with a towel and apply moisturizer.
    • Limit face washing to twice a day and after sweating.
  • Treat your skin
    • Acne - If you’re having acne breakouts, make sure to wash your face after wearing your mask and apply a non-comedogenic (doesn’t block pores) moisturizer. If washing makes the acne worse, talk to a TMC/UH dermatologist.
    • Irritated skin – put petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) on the irritated areas before you go to sleep.
    • Sore skin behind your ears – You can try to find a different mask that has ties or different ear loops. If you have to wear the same mask every day, try wearing a hat or headband with buttons for you to put the ear loops on.
  • Stop applying skin care products that can irritate your skin. Some examples include:
    • Products with salicylic acid
    • Anti-aging products
    • Peels or scrubs
  • Skip makeup on the areas of your face that are reacting to the mask
    • If you have to have makeup, use an oil-free product
  • Wash your cloth face masks. This will remove oil and particle buildup that can irritate your face
    • Follow washing instructions
    • Wash in hot water, unless instructions say otherwise
    • Use a detergent that is free of any fragrance and is hypoallergenic (unlikely to cause an allergic reaction).

Information and tips provided by the American Academy of Dermatology Association

To make an appointment with one of our dermatologists, call 816-404-7810.