how to avoid skin irritations when wearing a mask

As we come out of a lockdown, it’s important we follow the protocol and protect ourselves and others. However, we are seeing skin irritations due to masks. Today I’m going to be addressing common skin irritations when wearing a mask and what you can do about it.

Types Of Masks:

Typically, there are 3 types of masks: homemade cloth masks, surgical masks and N-95 masks.

Problems associated with masks:

A lot of us are complaining about redness, marks, acne and irritation and that’s mainly because the mask is trapping dirt, moisture bacteria. Problems associated with masks such as acne, which is “caused by the occlusion of the mask on the skin, whereby the hair follicles are blocked. Contact dermatitis caused by materials in the masks; irritant dermatitis on pressure points like the nose and ears; and moisture-related dermatitis around the mouth from breath or saliva. In fact, the nasal bridge, where a mask rests, was the most common area of irritation.

Other Symptoms

  • Itching
  • Dry skin
  • Redness

How to avoid skin irritations when wearing a mask

  • Wash your face with a ph-balanced cleanser, pat dry with a soft towel, and apply a non-comedogenic, fragrance-free moisturizer before and after putting on a mask. If you have acne, try to use an oil-free moisturiser.
  • Use lukewarm water only when washing your face and wait for redness to calm down. Avoid warm showers.
  • Consider avoiding make up such as foundation, concealer which are comedogenic or can cause irritation.
  • Avoid harsh scrubs or irritating agents.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol or sunlight if prone to rosacea.
  • The elastic behind the ears can also cause irritation so apply barrier cream, vaseline or silicone-based creams before wearing a mask.

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