Maskne: the ugly truth of mask wearing

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Staff Reporter

Maskne has become the new normal for 2020. The global pandemic has impacted most of the world now, and it’s not only changing people’s lives, it’s leaving its mark on their faces. Understanding the reasons why maskne is causing this problem is vital. “Your oil glands that produce oil are actually clogging the oil glands. The acne is bacteria getting trapped into those oil glands,” said Dr. Elizabeth Farhat, a dermatologist for Allina Health, a not-for-profit health care system based in Minnesota. 

Maskne is acne caused by face masks. It occurs because of the amount of time the mask is worn. Masks are required at Amarillo College to prevent the spread of COVID. Many students wear masks not only on campus but also during work, creating ideal conditions for the acne. There are ways to prevent or decrease mask-caused breakouts. The American Academy of Dermatology Association has nine tips for taking care of the face during these bumpy times. 

Immediately after washing the face, moisturize it with the right product for the skin, and be aware of the type of detergent being used on the skin during the process. Use less makeup since makeup will clog the pores even more under the mask. If makeup is needed, the AADA advises using oil-free products. If the skin becomes irritated, eliminate any new skincare products. Most importantly, wear the right mask and have a 15-minute break without the mask every four hours to help save the skin. 

Wearing a comfortably fitting mask made of breathable mostly cotton material is recommended. Students should also wash their masks frequently. 

Stress also contributes to acne and, with school in session, for most college students, stress is high. This means taking care of the skin should be an all-time priority during this pandemic. Eating healthy can help decrease acne as well.

Maskne can be scary for many individuals who rarely experience acne. It’s sweaty, it’s unnatural for acne to be all-around one area of the face and it’s difficult to eliminate. Despite the facial irritation, wearing masks is an essential way to keep classes in session and make sure students stay safe. So don’t break up with your mask over a breakout. It will get better, so remember to stay focused and dedicated for the rest of the academic year.

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