How to treat mask acne, also known as 'maskne'

Posted at 2:44 PM, Jan 25, 2021

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — No doubt masks have been critical, a lifesaving tool to help curb the spread of coronavirus. One frustrating side effect is what dermatologists are calling ‘maskne’, the acne that stems from extended use of a face mask.

“It causes more natural oils to be trapped into the pores or follicles,” said Dr. Diane Jackson-Richards, a dermatologist from the Henry Ford Health System.

“Growing up I never had acne, never had a blemish,” said Shema, an artist from Downriver, Michigan.

“It was very insecure for me to deal with skin issues at 33,” added Shema.

Then there’s Fred, an Automotive Technician, who at the age of 51 says it felt like his teenage years were coming back to haunt him.

“I thought my acne days were over,” said Fred.

It’s something he couldn’t escape after multiple eight hour shifts in a mask.

“The bridge of my nose is usually where I get them and then right here where your nose meets the crease,” Fred added.

“People that have never had acne before, that suddenly have it, are the most frustrated,” said Lauren Weinberg P.A-C.

Lauren Weinberg P.A-C of Karlene Dermatology says she’s seen an uptick in complaints from those in a mask being put to the task and desperate for ways to restore their skin.

“I have tried a new charcoal cleanser and by the way I never thought I would be talking skin care with anyone,” added Fred.

After much trial and error, Shema found relief by using some dermatologist prescribed products.

"Benzoyl Peroxide with five percent active ingredients,” said Shema.

While also buying reusable masks in bulk has helped with the struggle. Turns out mask management is key to managing ‘Maskne’. Dr. Diane Jackson-Richards says you should throw away disposable masks daily.

“If you’re wearing cloth masks keep in mind, you’ve got to wash them regularly,” said Dr. Jackson-Richards.

Use Non-scented detergent if you’re sensitive to perfumes and note that, face makeup won’t do you any favors.

“That further combines with it and clogs up your pores,” added Weinberg.

Both of our dermatology specialists say, if you can, stick to wearing eye makeup only.

Here's the Rebound Rundown

  • Choosing a mask with lightweight material
  • Washing your face twice a day with a mild cleanser
  • Moisturizing at least once a day with a non-clogging, non- comedogenic facial cream.

Of course, if you’re doing all of those things and you’re still having trouble getting it under control, that’s when you know it’s time to see a dermatologist.

This story originally reported by Ameera David on