Maskne the new Acne

Posted by: Penny | 28 Oct, 2020

We are learning to adapt to doing so many things differently due to Covid-19.

Some of these different ways are now presenting their own side effects – some more serious than others. On the aesthetic front, the rise of acne caused by the frequent wearing of face masks is becoming a common problem.

Healthcare workers are experiencing this type of acne due to their tighter fitting masks and extended durations of wearing them. However, this condition is also being experienced by the public, as wearing a mask in many jurisdictions is now mandated -- or at least strongly recommended.

This type of acne is now being referred to as ‘Maskne’, however its technical name is acne mechanica. It is caused by friction from the mask and other factors such as humidity and perspiration, which then creates a breeding ground for the proliferation of bacteria which cause acne.

Dermatologists are recommending spot treatment with over-the-counter treatments, such as benzoyl peroxide, for such outbreaks.  However, natural alternatives can be found. Benchmark therapeutic essential oils are excellent options, including Australian Tea Tree Oil, and more recently strong interest in Manuka Essential Oil

Interest in applying essential oils directly to face masks has also seen increased interest and been widely promoted by many aromatherapists. Essential Oils of interest include Tea Tree for its broad antimicrobial and antiviral properties, as well as Eucalyptus Oil for its benefits to lung function[1]. This can be beneficial but also problematic depending on the type of mask used.

Find out more in our blog Applying Essential Oil to a face mask.

[1] Worth H, Dethlefsen U. Patients with asthma benefit from concomitant therapy with cineole: a placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. J Asthma. 2012 Oct;49(8):849-53. doi: 10.3109/02770903.2012.717657. PMID: 22978309.

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