Face Mask

How to Prevent Mask Rash and Other Mask Wearing Issues

Prevent face mask irritation with these tips.

Whether you are a first responder or someone trying to make a trip to the grocery store, wearing face masks are now an important part of our everyday days lives. However, wearing the masks all the time can cause potential skin issues and irritation.

Here are some tips from dermatologists to prevent mask rash and to make mask wearing as comfortable as possible.

Be careful if you are working out with your mask

  • If you are working out with your mask on be wary that it can lead to more irritation and clogged pores.
  • Dr. Shanthi Colaço of Skinstyle Dermatology recommends wearing one mask to workout then immediately switching the mask after you work out so the wet mask is not rubbing against your skin.

Put a barrier cream on before you go out

  • What you do before you put your mask on is just as important as what you do after you take your mask off.
  • Dermatologist Dr. Nina Desai suggested to apply a barrier cream to your skin while wearing a mask to prevent irritation. Desai recommends moisturizers like Aquaphor, Cerave Healing Ointment or Biafine. By wearing the moisturizer, a barrier is created between the skin and the mask thus protecting your skin.
  • Colaço recommended taking a moisturizer and putting it where the edges of your masks hit to reduce irritation while your mask is on.

Take care of your skin after taking off the mask

  • After taking the mask off, be gentle with your skin and make sure the products you are using are hypoallergenic and fragrance free. Dermatologist recommend a gentle cleanser that will hydrate your skin. Look out for these moisturizing ingredients in products: ceramide, glycerin or hyaluronic acid.

Beat the heat

  • Wearing a mask in hot weather can cause redness, acne and irritation because of an increase in oil and grease.
  • If it's hot out, a natural fabric like cotton may be your best bet for your hot days. But cotton will allow more air particles to filter through which makes it not as effective of a mask.
  • Colaço recommends regularly switching out your masks so they have time to be properly washed and dried so sweat and germs from previous days don't build up.
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