Moscow – what is this new plague that appeared during the pandemic

Mask is not a new disease

Acne has many types and causes and causes. One type is mechanical acne, or as we all know it today, a mask. It is caused by repeated irritation from various objects both on the face and body, explains Prikule-Rūsiņa.

Before the pandemic, mechanical liver was more common in supporters of various sports who had to wear a helmet, drivers due to prolonged sitting, or builders who had to wear respirators. It can occur on the body in places where there is repeated rubbing, such as with a belt or clothing. For violinists, mechanical acne often occurs in the part of the neck where the skin is in contact with the violin.

Who is at higher risk of getting a mask?

Mechanical acne can affect people who already have acne, or more precisely another type of acne, such as acne vulgaris (acne that is commonly seen on the face), as well as those whose skin has never had a problem. Of course, not all mask wearers will develop acne, but more often people with oily or combination skin type suffer.

No less important is the duration of wearing the mask. The skin is not damaged if the mask is used for a short period of time, such as in a store or when visiting a doctor. Skin problems can be observed by wearing the mask every day for several hours in a row and not changing it during the day, the doctor emphasizes.

How does a mask come about?

The mask creates friction, and on a daily basis, such local skin irritation stimulates the development of inflammatory factors – they promote both inflammation of the skin and affect the division of skin cells. They will not peel off, accumulate and clog pores.

The skin has its own ecosystem or microbiome. It is responsible for keeping the skin healthy and able to perform its functions. The microbiome is affected by various factors – humidity, temperature and pH. They can all change due to the warm and humid microclimate created by the mask, which is caused by exhalation and sweat. For example, heat causes the sebaceous glands to work more actively and increases fat production.

Fat together with the “old” skin cells clogs the pores, black dots are formed. They turn into a pus blister when bacteria multiply in the blocked pore. Fat is also a nutrient for the fungus that lives on the skin. If it has more food, it will multiply and the skin microbiome can be disrupted again, the doctor explains.

In the case of a mask, the rash will form in the area covered by the mask on a daily basis, ie around the mouth, on the cheeks and nose. Other similar conditions such as perioral dermatitis, rosacea or seborrheic dermatitis may also develop during the use of masks. For these skin problems, skin care will be similar to acne, but the treatment will be different.

How to avoid masks?

Wearing masks during a pandemic is very important, and we cannot avoid it, but we can try to take care of and protect the skin under it, says Z. Prikule-Rūsiņa. How to do it right?

Basic principles:

  • The skin should be cleaned twice a day – morning and evening. Both insufficient and too frequent cleansing of the skin can lead to damage.
  • Moisturizing face creams should be used according to the skin type to keep the skin barrier healthy. They act as a shield against environmental irritants. For oily skin it is better to choose a moisturizer in the form of a gel, for normal skin – a lotion, but for dry skin – a cream.
  • Do not use skin care products that contain essential oils or other fragrances, as this will cause additional skin irritation.
  • In skin care, it is important to include exfoliants or products that exfoliate old skin cells and prevent clogging of the pores: salicylic acid, glycolic acid or azeleic acid. It is better to use these products overnight.
  • Niacinamide or vitamin B3, found in various serums and creams, is recommended. It reduces inflammation and regulates the activity of the sebaceous glands.
  • Do not use make-up under the mask! Cosmetics, sweat and heat are the perfect conditions for the development of acne. It is also not recommended to use lipstick, because the heat and moisture created by the mask will get on the skin around the lips. Lipsticks mostly contain several fragrances and dyes, which will make the already irritated skin even more sensitive.
  • Wear the mask properly! If you use a cotton mask that is intended for multiple uses, it must be washed daily at a high temperature and ironed to destroy the microorganisms in it. Remember to wash face masks without fabric softener and use odorless powder. If you use a medical mask, use it only once, not several times!
  • Never press on the pumps! Pressing them is like a sign of equality for scars.
  • If your doctor has already prescribed medication to treat acne, you should not take it in the morning, before the whole day to be spent in a mask. Otherwise it will be like an occlusive dressing and the medication will work much harder than it should.

If you are worried about the condition of your facial skin, visit your dermatologist, who will diagnose the problem and treat it accordingly!

Pharmacist advice

Pharmacist Zanda Ozoliņa emphasizes that wearing face masks is very important at the moment, therefore we must not treat it lightly. When wearing a face mask, it should cover the mouth, nose and chin. It is important that the mask is the right size! It is recommended to wear the cloth mask for up to 4 hours, after which it must be washed. If the mask is not changed regularly, it can promote inflammatory processes on the skin.

If you choose to use a fabric mask, choose a fabric that is less irritating to the skin. Non-allergenic or natural materials such as cotton or silk are recommended, but at the same time the masks must be washable at 60 degrees and ironed.

If you notice that the mask has really irritated the skin, you can use special products in the form of pencils-sticks, which reduce irritation, redness, inflammation, as well as itching. It is also recommended to use soothing, healing and protective creams or thermal water after removing the mask.

However, if a rash has developed, so-called SOS pastes are recommended. Pay attention to daily cleansers – choose less desiccants.

For the general prevention of acne, brewer’s yeast, evening primrose oil and vitamins designed to improve the condition of the skin are recommended. For adult acne, more serious medications are prescribed by a doctor. It is also recommended to take extra vitamin C, as well as evaluate daily eating habits.

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