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Dermatologist seeing uptick in patients with 'maskne' as summer months continue

Wearing a mask could be causing something called "maskne." A Tyler dermatologist explains how to treat and avoid it.

TYLER, Texas —

We’ve been told a lot lately about wearing masks, but right now we’re not sure when it will be safe to stop wearing masks. 

Most of us don’t leave the house without one. Jenni Holman, a dermatologist at U.S. Dermatology partners in Tyler, says it could be taking an impact on people’s skin. 

“We're seeing a lot of folks that are coming up with you know, irritation, mask acne,” Holman said. 

Perioral Dermatitis is being referred to as ‘maskne.’ According to the American Academy of Dermatology, if you have a rash around your mouth, you may have perioral dermatitis.

As people continue to wear masks Holeman says she’s seen people come in for it now more than ever. 

“You can see everything from kind of red dry crackly skin, areas of chafing, and even things that look like acne outbreaks, so little tiny bumps, even pus filled bumps, those kind of things,” Holman said. 

As the summer months continue, added heat means sweat and humidity builds up underneath the mask. 

"Obviously there's going to be more moisture trapped under there,” Holman said. “That irritates the skin."

Holman says hygiene is the best step to preventing an acne outbreak:

  • Use a gentle cleanser on your face
  • Avoid makeup
  • Use a good moisturizer at night
  • Avoid topical steroids and over the counter acne medicine 

"If it's already happened, gentle skincare is the first and foremost component that you want to be sure that you're doing so gentle cleansers and fragrance free moisturizers,” Holman said. 

If it's been about two weeks and your skin isn't clearing up, she says to see a dermatologist. 

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