Coronavirus News: Experiencing fask mask acne, irritation? Here's what's causing it and how to treat it

WOODBURY, Long Island (WABC) -- It's a cosmetic casualty of the coronavirus pandemic: acne or irritation on the skin around one's face mask. It's a condition that's being called "maskne."

Dermatologists are seeing more people come in who are experiencing the condition.

"Patients get clogged pores, they're getting little wrinkles and fine lines, they're getting rashes from the mask and they're just not happy with their skin," said Dr. Stephen Greenberg of Greenberg Cosmetic Surgery based in Woodbury.

Greenberg said the recent heat wave doesn't help matters.

"The sweat is staying on your face, the pores are not able to breathe throughout the day and we're kind of keeping all that moisture in," he said.

The condition is not only cosmetic, it can be painful for some.

Dr. Michelle Henry, who is a board-certified dermatologist, said she often sees the condition in many of her patients who are essential workers.

"That friction can cause not only superficial black heads and white heads, but also deep painful cysts," Henry said.

Henry said people who are experiencing the condition need to remember to wear sunscreen.

"If you are to burn that can worsen your acne and your inflammation," she explained.

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Dermatologists said people can prevent the condition by cleaning their face often and using a gentle cleanser and not harsh toners which strip the skin. It's also important to use a facial moisturizer which won't clog your pores.

Greenberg said people should remove the mask as often as they are able in order to give the skin a break.

He said people also should wash their cloth masks every day.

"I tell patients to use a different mask or wash the mask at least once a day and patients who are having skin problems - change the type of material you're using," he said.

Greenberg said a lot of people are experiencing wrinkles around the lines of the mask, which is normal since the mask is pushing on the skin. He recommends people switch the type of mask they are using every day, so the skin is not being stretched the same way everyday.

Greenberg said for most people, the wrinkles and lines will dissipate, but people who have to wear a mask often for long periods of time may require cosmetic procedures to treat the wrinkles.

Greenberg said he is also seeing patients who are noticing other cosmetic issues due to wearing a mask. People are more concerned with wrinkles around their eyes and forehead because those areas are more exposed now.

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