There is one word that has been front and centre of beauty industry for 2020; Maskne.

“Maskne” is a phrase that has evolved during the Covid-19 pandemic due to the increase of what appears to be acne in the perioral area underneath facial masks.

The first thing to remember is that this is not always regular “acne” or a breakout.

One condition being described as “Maskne” is actually a really common form of dermatitis that can happen for a variety of reasons including; friction between the face and the mask as the mask moves, as well as a reaction to various chemicals impregnated in surgical masks and / or the fabric itself. If you speak to theatre nurses or nursing students, they experience this often particularly in the early years.

This is a form of Contact Dermatitis and is best looked after by a doctor or skin specialist who will likely advise a low percentage steroid application in conjunction with a pharmaceutical barrier cream.

Another condition often labelled “Maskne” is Perioral Dermatitis. This one is quite sneaky as it can present like regular breakout, however, is exasperated by regular skincare treatments. These treatments target breakout that often differ from Contact Dermatitis in that topical steroids make it worse and it generally requires both topical and oral antibiotics to control.

When treating either form of dermatitis, no other topical products should be applied to the area including cosmetics until completely healed with the exception of a mild non foaming cleanser such as; the Balancing Cleanser morning and night, and an SPF  if you are going out into unprotected sunlight.

Then of course, there is a regular breakout which is common in this area and then exasperated by the occlusive nature of the mask creating a humid, enclosed environment. Almost like a moist terrarium for the P-Acnes bacteria to thrive. Thanks Covid.

In this situation, treat the breakout as per normal with the Alpha-H Clear Skin range and ensure you are using the most “breathable” mask possible. Wash your hands regularly, avoid touching spots and try and avoid wearing masks for more than two hours at a time. If wearing a fabric mask, make sure to wash regularly.

For many people, having to wear a mask all day is unusual and remember that stress plays a major role with our skin.