How to prevent and treat acne caused by face mask

Facial irritation and wearing masks

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s like we’re all getting pushed back into puberty. Local dermatologists say they are seeing more cases of people getting acne around their mouth and lower face due to the COVID-19 pandemic and face masks.

The Condition is called acne mechanica.

Dermatologists Dr. Marian Northington with Dermatologist of Birmingham says it is caused by constant friction from the mask being manipulated and heat trapped under your mask is the perfect environment for bacteria.

Unfortunately, the best way to prevent an acne flare-up is to get rid of the cause, but with COVID-19 cases on the rise in Alabama, not wearing a mask is not an option.

The good news, acne caused by wearing a face covering can be prevented and treated.

The first thing you need to do is to make sure you’re always wearing a clean mask.

Second, try not to touch your face. If you have to touch your face, wash your hands first.

Next, Dr. Northington said get use a good cleanser.

“Use some sort of exfoliating agent like glycolic acid Cleansers, salicylic acid cleansers, Topical retinoids like Retin-A are great things to help pull everything out of your pores, Get rid of whiteheads and blackheads and keep everything clean,” Dr. Northington said.

She says those types of cleansers also have other benefits.

“It actually exfoliates your skin, makes your skin look bright and healthy. It helps you make collagen and really backs your skin up into time,” Northington explained.

For those who wear makeup, it can make the issue worse; so, you want to be sure to remove all of your makeup every night before heading to bed.

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