CAPE TOWN – As masks have become mandatory in public as a bid to to fight the spread of Coronavirus, maskne (acne caused by face masks) is also on the rise.
According to dermatologists, maskne is not a new phenomenon; medical professionals who have worn masks are prone to this skin problem, but the condition has become more widespread among the general population.
Dermatologist, Dr Howard Sobel says maskne causes breakouts due to the combination of friction, heat, moisture and clogged pores.
“Silk masks have been shown to be an effective mask while also preventing facial irritation. It has been discovered that high thread count cotton and natural silk can effectively filter out particles,”
“If you haven’t already experienced maskne, you very likely could, as spending more time outdoors mixed with heat, humidity, sunscreen, facial products and makeup can cause breakouts,” he said.
Dermatologist Harry Dao says if you’re wearing a cotton mask, you have to wash it after each use, as its surface contains dirt and oil and can become a breeding ground for bacteria from your nose and mouth.
“Some manufactured masks may contain a chemical that causes an allergic reaction. Formaldehyde and bronopol can be found in polypropylene surgical masks,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a study by the University of Cincinnati, found that next to a single-use N95 respirator or surgical mask, silk face masks are comfortable, breathable and repel moisture, which is a desirable trait in fighting an airborne virus. The study was published this month in the journal PLOS ONE,
“Perhaps best of all, silk contains natural antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral properties that could help ward off the virus,” said Patrick Guerra, assistant professor of biology in UC’s College of Arts and Sciences.
For LIVE updates on the Coronavirus pandemic, follow us on Twitter: @sacoronamonitor