Ways to prevent skin problems caused by face masks

As the coronavirus cases are increasing at a rapid pace, wearing a face mask has become the new norm. Although it  reduces the risk of being infected,  on the downside, wearing one may wreak havoc with your skin. 

Dermatologists say there has been an uptick in the number of cases related to dermatitis due to the usage of face masks. These masks trap  vapour, moisture and saliva, which further disturb the natural balance of skin around your mouth, as a result this leads to Dermatitis. It is a skin infection that causes dryness. In most people, the first stages of dermatitis are characterised by redness, dry and  itchy skin. Apart from dermatitis, people are reported to be suffering from rashes, acne, and rosacea. One of the prevalent skin conditions that most people are suffering from due to these face masks is acne. Especially using masks made from polyester or nylon will make you feel hot or cause sweating. When this sweat gets mixed with the trapped sebum, it acts as a hotbed for acne. Well after reading this, you may be wondering is there a way to prevent skin conditions due to wearing face masks. The good news is  there are plenty of ways to safeguard your skin. But before exploring some of these effective skincare tips, those with extremely sensitive skin must consult a dermatologist in spite of taking all the precautions. 

Now lets see some skincare tips that one must keep in mind, while using face masks. 

  1. Choose a soft material - One of the essential tips to keep in mind when buying face masks is to pick the one that is made out of a soft and breathable material. Also keep in mind that the material has to be close knit so that it still serves the purpose of protecting. Invest in a cotton mask. Avoid wearing masks made from nylon or polyester. 
     
  2. Wash your face - Before putting on a mask, make sure to face your face with a gentle cleanser. It is very essential to wash your face before and after using a mask as it removes the trapped oils and dirt. 
     
  3. Moisturise your skin - After washing your face, make sure you put plenty of moisturiser. Allow a good moisturising cream to absorb into your skin before wearing a mask. By doing this, it helps to reduce skin irritation or rash from the usage of face masks. Those  with a highly sensitive skin, should apply a generous amount of moisturiser. On the other hand, those with oily skin should use a water-based cream. Wearing a face mask on oily skin is not advised, as it may lead to unwanted breakouts. While using a cream, some of the ingredients you may  look for are ceramide, nicatinamide, and glycerin. Applying moisturiser on your skin is the best way to reduce friction between the mask and your skin. 
     
  4. Skip makeup - For those of you who have a habit of wearing makeup before stepping out must refrain from doing so.  Wearing a face mask on makeup is not a good idea as it is not only good for your skin but also for the mask. Experts say wearing a mask on makeup may impede the mask's ability to filter out droplets.  Avoid using any products on your face that could potentially lead to soiling the mask’s fabric. Although wearing eye makeup is still safe, it is best to avoid. 
     
  5. Wear a clean mask at all times - One of the essential tips to keep in mind in order to safeguard your skin is to wear a clean mask at all times. Cloth face masks should be washed after every use. Also keep in mind that you must always wash your hands after touching used face masks. 
     
  6. Use a calming skin product at night - For those of you with sensitive skin must use a calming night cream to avoid rash or irritation from the mask. One of the best ways to treat inflammation on skin or rash is to use an ointment containing hydrocortisone. Keep in mind that ointments must be used sparingly and for a short period of time. 
     
  7. Protect your lips with petroleum jelly - Along with protecting your skin, it is also important to take care of your lips. One of the most common skin problems due to wearing face masks is chapped lips. To prevent chapped lips, apply a generous amount of petroleum jelly on your lips before wearing your mask. To keep your lips well moisturized you should apply before going to bed. 

- Akhila kakarala
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