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Maskne: How to treat, prevent face mask acne

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CLARK FREEPORT — A new normal in skin problems wrought by the pandemic facial acne breakouts.

Maskne a portmanteau of mask and acne is a skin condition brought about by prolonged wear of facial personal protective equipment like face mask.

E-Derm Centers owner and dermatologist, Dr. Aenelle Bautista-Dizon. Photo by Ric Gonzales

According to E-Derm Centers owner and dermatologist Dr. Aenelle Bautista-Dizon, the medical term for maskne is acne mechanica. 

“There has been a rise of cases for this type of acne due to the fact that we are all wearing face masks now to protect ourselves from getting infected with the coronavirus,” said Dizon.

Since wearing face masks become an essential part of the daily habit, Dizon said maskne is commonly triggered by the heat and friction combined with a moist environment from breathing, humidity, and sweat which can create an environment suitable for eruption of acne.

“The best choice for a mask is one that offers a snug but comfortable fit. For cloth masks, choose a soft, natural breathable fabric like cotton,” Dizon suggested. “For disposable or surgical masks make sure they are fresh and clean. Avoid synthetic fabrics like nylon, polyester and rayon as they may irritate the skin and cause the breakouts.

As serious maskne breakout can happen, Dizon also noted that it may become worse if left untreated which can cause skin damage like acne scarring and is more difficult to manage.

Here are ways on how to fight and avoid maskne breakouts:


Always cleanse and moisturize.

Try to skip makeup if you are wearing a mask for a prolonged period of time as makeup can clog pores and may irritate the skin more.

Avoid using new skincare products which can irritate the skin such as harsh scrubs or face wash. 

Avoid touching the acne, resist the urge to prick the pimples.

Take a 15-minute mask break every 4 hours — whenever you have a chance and are by yourself.

Don’t forget to wash your cloth mask.

Dizon also advised to follow your basic skin care routine regularly and moisturize as needed. Over-the-counter spot treatments such as anti-acne products that usually contain beta hydroxy acids and benzoyl peroxide can help in the control of acne breakout.

“Maskne treatment has many similarities to treatment of conventional acne but as always early treatment is best. If acne breakout cannot be controlled, better see a board certified PDS dermatologist,” she said.

“The choice of dermatological procedure will depend on the dermatologist as medical management is first in line. The dermatologist can consider treatments like chemical peeling or laser treatment if necessary as adjunct to medical treatment,” she added.

E-derm is currently offering various aesthetic services including non-invasive procedures. They are also offering online consultation through teleconference via its official Facebook page. Clinic visits are by appointment only as safety measures and protocols are strictly enforced.

E-Derm Center Clark is located at the ground floor Mercedez Benz building along M.A. Roxas. Photo by Ric Gonzales 

For consultation, appointment, and other inquiries, you may send a message at E-Derm Centers official Facebook page or call (045) 304-0000

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