Skin care tips to combat “maskne” amid the pandemic

Dr. Michelle Henry, board-certified dermatologist, shares her trips on how to treat and prevent maskne.
4:48 | 07/01/20

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Transcript for Skin care tips to combat “maskne” amid the pandemic
We turn now to an overlook cosmetic casualty of the pandemic. If you have been struggling with acne caused by your mask, you're not alone. Maskne is a thing now, trending issue, because of the unprecedented long usage of masks. Let's get some help here. Dr. Michelle Henry, dermatologist, first of all, is it that simple? Maskne. What exactly are we talking about -- just an irritation caused by wearing the mask all the time? So, yes, maskne is acne in the distribution of your mask. You often see it around the line of the mask. Clinically we call this acne mechanica, it's caused by that friction. Friction causes irritation, inflammation of the follicles. You can imagine that's the perfect setup for acne breakout. Further, the environment underneath our mask is very humid. If you consider the vapors from breathing and talking, constant moisture can also cause irritation, inflammation. Ultimately, skin breakdown. How do we prevent against both of these things? It's all about excellent skin care and gentle skincare. Our tendency when we have acne is to do something aggressive. Here the skin is inflamed. It's all about gentle skincare. Building up your moisture barrier to prevent both of these problems. Oh, wow. Mechanica. Acne mechanica. Acne mechanica. We have a viewer here who needs some help. This is Amy, let's listen to her question. Hi, my name is Amy St. Peter. I'm from bangor, Maine. I'm a physical therapist. Prior to the pandemic I had occasional breakouts, probably hormonally related along my jawline, since the pandemic I have been having to wear a surgical mask for eight hours to nine hours out of my day and I have noticed my skin seems to be breaking out even more along my chin, I'm looking for some help on what I can do to make this go away. It is quite painful. It's woken me up at night because I can feel it under my the problem seems to be getting worse. Whatever I try to help doesn't -- isn't seeming to help make it go away. My question is, is there something out there that you can recommend to help me clear up my skin issues? Okay, Dr. Henry, help her out here. You know, that's a good point she makes, this is not just a cosmetic or a vanity issue, she said it's quite painful. What do you recommend for you? Absolutely, so, you know, that friction can cause superficial black heads by deep, painful cysts and I see this a lot. What I recommend is really five simple steps. The first, gentle cleanser. We want to cleanse the skin. But again, we don't want to strip the skin of moisture because that moisture barrier is important to prevent against friction. And inflammation. The second step, if you're using a toner, use a gentle toner, toner with light ingredients, low concentrations of acids will help to unclog those pores. Without drying the skin. Avoid harsh toners with ingredients like witch hazel can be really harsh on the skin. The third, and probably the most critical of all the steps, is invest in a good moisturizer. We want to create that moisture barrier to protect the skin from that friction. You want to waterproof the skin and keep the bad things out and the good things inside. And make our skin stronger. The fourth step is to don't forget your spf. A, always protect your skin against skin cancer. Because the masks don't provide perfect protection. B, no one wants an unsightly mask tan. C, if you're to burn that can worsen your acne and worsen the inflammation. And the last step, if you're still getting acne after using this good gentle skin care regimen, you can adopt some good acne creams. They're easy to get over the counter at a good price point. Make sure everything you're using isn't clogging your pores. My goodness, and you know what, we're going to be talking about this for a while because these masks, these face coverings are going to be with us for a while. Dr. Henry, thank you so, so much for being here. It's good to see you. Thank you for having me.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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