Dermatologists know pores and skin higher than anybody. And derms, like different medical doctors and important employees, have to remain masked up for hours at a time as a consequence of COVID-19. Like most individuals who’ve struggled sporting face masks for extended durations, they’ll inform you that pores and skin can really take a beating ― there are breakouts, irritation and even bruising that may outcome from essential masks sporting.
HuffPost spoke with dermatologists to see how they’re treating masks zits (aka maskne). A few of the fixes contain prescription-strength topicals, however most are reasonably priced over-the-counter options, and one is a product meant to deal with diaper rash in infants.
Dr. Adeline Kikam
“It was the primary week, for me.” That’s when Texas-based board-certified dermatologist Adeline Kikam began noticing breakouts from sporting a masks.
Along with bruising from the masks straps, she skilled contact dermatitis, which might trigger irritation, particularly across the bridge of the nostril. Different widespread points she’s seen in her sufferers are zits flare-ups from tight-fitting masks and humidity created across the mouth.
“I’ve acne-prone pores and skin and what I exploit already targets breakouts from masks,” Kikam stated, however she’s additionally added a prescription-strength cream and one over-the-counter product she says creates a “barrier” between her pores and skin and the masks.
Her go-tos, even earlier than the pandemic, embody a salicylic or glycolic acid cleanser, serum and a moisturizer with ceramide, like La Roche-Posay Double Restore Face Moisturizer or CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion.
However extra importantly, Kikam often applies a couple of lotions that shield her irritated pores and skin, they usually’re tremendous reasonably priced.
“I generally apply a zinc-containing barrier cream to create a protecting seal layer over compromised pores and skin and to lock in moisture, like Desitin.” Sure, Desitin, the product that’s usually related to diaper rash. But it surely accommodates the aforementioned zinc, which might help with irritation and irritation.
One other product she makes use of sparingly is Cortizone 10 to assist scale back itching or irritation with contact dermatitis. “I rub a skinny layer to the affected space twice every day as wanted both earlier than or after eradicating my masks for a couple of week or two for reduction.”
Her nighttime routine is much like the morning, however apart from sunscreen, and the addition of a prescription Retin-A, which Kikam says “retains breakouts at bay.”
Dr. Melanie Palm
Melanie Palm, board-certified dermatologist and medical director of Artwork of Pores and skin MD in California, doesn’t simply spend 9 hours sporting a masks throughout weekdays within the workplace, however an extra six hours doing volunteer work at a vaccination website.
Whereas her main concern has been dry palms (she will be able to wash them as much as 80 occasions a day!), she additionally began noticing some pores and skin issues on her face.
“For me, the zits began to develop a number of months into masks sporting,” she stated.
Although she has handled a couple of cystic lesions with in-office injections, the remainder of her maskne routine is one thing anybody can incorporate, no go to to the derm essential.
Her every day modifications have been easy, like altering her cleanser and moisturizer to regulate oil manufacturing and soothe the pores and skin. As an alternative of her typical glycolic wash, Palm stated a wash with each glycolic and salicylic acids can “calm breakouts and fight perioral dermatitis from maskne.”
One among her go-tos is SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, which accommodates the aforementioned acids to cleanse and exfoliate the pores and skin.
AHAs can improve solar sensitivity, and Palm at all times provides a moisturizer and sunscreen earlier than making use of her masks. She likes EltaMD for its noncomedogenic formulation that doesn’t clog pores. It additionally accommodates two key elements that assist battle breakouts.
“Zinc oxide and niacinamide are anti-inflammatory and don’t promote oil manufacturing,” she stated. That anti-inflammatory nature might help with zits, but additionally rosacea and frictional dermatitis from extended masks sporting.
Dr. Jessie Cheung
Chicago-based dermatologist Jessie Cheung has additionally skilled pores and skin irritation that has led her to include extra merchandise to her on a regular basis routine, together with a couple of she makes use of all through the day.
“I’ve positively observed a rise in zits within the areas that my masks covers,” she instructed HuffPost. “I even have dry lips and occasional irritation the place the straps rub in opposition to my pores and skin.
“I cleanse my face twice a day with washes containing both benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, lactic acid or glycolic acid ― these elements have the potential to dry out the pores and skin whereas combating breakouts, so I choose utilizing them as short-contact cleansers.” Cheung says these “short-contact” merchandise, which implies they are often washed off, are much less irritating to the pores and skin than zits therapies which can be left on the pores and skin all day.
Cheung has nixed sporting make-up beneath her masks, which she says contributes to breakouts, however she additionally takes a couple of moments to calm irritated pores and skin, dry lips or any potential breakouts.
“I exploit Avène Thermal Spring Water. The minerals and microflora immediately calm the pores and skin whereas restoring the pores and skin barrier,” she stated. And for zits breakouts, she dabs on prescriptions like Tazorac or BenzaClin. However for an accessible over-the-counter choice, she additionally likes Neutrogena On-the-Spot Zits Therapy.
To appease dry lips, Cheung stated, “I get a few of my exfoliating wash on my lips once I wash my face, and I’m making use of Aquaphor ointment a number of occasions a day.”
At evening she performs her typical skincare routine with the addition of a once- or twice-a-week software of prescription Tretinoin to stop new breakouts. “I’ve additionally added in fading lotions, as I’m susceptible to hyperpigmentation as my zits heals.”
Although she applies a hydroquinone cream that’s solely out there with a prescription, an alternative choice she likes is Differin Darkish Spot Correcting Serum.
An ideal skincare routine is simply as nice, and clear, because the masks masking the pores and skin. All of the dermatologists we spoke to make use of disposable masks whereas working, however for reusable ones, Palm suggests “washing the fabric in sizzling water and dry on excessive warmth to kill any microbes/viral contamination.”