(WYTV) – It is important to wear a mask to protect yourself against COVID-19, but people might start to find that wearing a mask can be irritating for their skin.
“Depending on what they wash [masks] in or what the fabric is, you can get an irritation from them,” said dermatologist Dr. Jenifer Lloyd.
Lloyd is a dermatologist in Boardman. She says that your skin may be reacting to your mask, especially for those who are now constantly wearing them.
“You can get increase acne or a peri-oral dermatitis because you have all that heat and humidity stuck on your face that normally you don’t have,” Lloyd said.
Reactions and irritations can also depend on the type of mask you’re wearing.
N95 masks are supposed to tightly seal around your face, which locks in that heat and humidity a little more. However, you can’t moisturize your face before putting that mask on because you could break that tight seal.
“While they want you to moisturize to keep your skin nice and soft, but if you do that and then come to work and put it on, it gets greasy,” said Nurse Charlotte Matash.
Matash says that her team is rotating between the N95 masks and surgical masks, which has helped to avoid some irritation that the masks can cause.
“The problem is, if they have goggles over top of that nose piece, that is the only time we have noticed trouble with skin irritation in that area, but then that can be significant and once it’s sore there, it makes it worse throughout the day,” Matash said.
“The biggest thing when you get home, when you take them off, have some Vaseline, Aquaphor, something like that that is protective to help try to keep your skin from breaking down,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd says for those with homemade masks it’s also important to not only treat your skin but to frequently wash your masks with hot, soapy water and to dry them on high heat.