5 ways to keep skin healthy beneath a mask

Change mask often, doctor says

FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2020, file photo, marks are seen on the face of registered nurse Shelly Girardin as she removes a protective mask after performing rounds in a COVID-19 unit at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis, Mo. Across the U.S., the surge has swamped hospitals with patients and left nurses and other health care workers shorthanded and burned out. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Jeff Roberson, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

It’s one of the best ways to slow the spread of COVID-19 but wearing a mask can also cause your skin to break out.

If you’re having trouble keeping your skin clear beneath a mask? You’re not alone.

There’s even a name for it on Dictionary.com. “Maskne” is defined as acne or other skin irritations that result from wearing a mask.

“They perspire or if they’re a little bit oily the pores get clogged under the mask and honestly some people get irritated from the mask alone,” Dr. Glenn Kolansky, a Board-Certified Dermatologist, said.

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Dr. Kolansky says these five things can help.

First, wash your face before and after putting on a mask and use an oil free water-based moisturizer but not too much.

Change your mask often and keep it clean. If it’s cotton, wash it frequently and watch what you’re putting on your face.

“Most importantly, stop wearing makeup under the mask,” Dr. Kolansky said. “It clogs the pores under the mask and plus it rubs off on the mask and you just keep putting that mask on your face with old makeup.”

If you have to wear a mask for hours at a time, go to a place where you can take it off for five to 10 minutes to allow your skin some time to breathe.

Finally, if the loops of the mask are causing irritation to the skin around the ears, make sure your mask fits properly. If you need it to be bigger, there are extenders you can buy to help diminish some of the irritation.