Surgical masks have been a common sight at medical centers long before they became normal for everyone, courtesy of the Covid. Doctors and nurses use masks to keep themselves safe from germs. Nurses usually have to work for extended hours, and it is mandatory for them to wear masks, especially so since the Covid pandemic started. 


While the masks are useful in keeping the virus at bay, wearing them for long can lead to the development of rashes and acne on the skin. A new kind of acne, known as maskne, has developed as a result of this constant mask-wearing. 


In this article, we have shared different tips for nurses to avoid or altogether get rid of maskne. But before we get into that, let’s understand what maskne really is.

What is maskne?

Maskne is newfound acne, common among but not only limited to, nurses and doctors. Due to extended use of facial masks, our skin can start forming pimples and rashes. The primary cause of maskne is the friction and chafing of the skin against the mask. 


When the face stays covered most of the time, it traps sweat and oil underneath. As a result, the no-air seal pressure from the mask leads to irritation, allergies, acne, and discoloration.

But are nurses aware of this to even start taking skincare seriously? Nurses are trained professionals at providing care, and they often neglect their own because they’re too busy giving it to others. Their self-neglect leads to other complications in their lives, apart from skin problems. 

For example, nurses are less likely to pursue a master’s degree if they have to work extensive hours at the hospital. Luckily, there are online options, and you can complete your MSN in Nursing Degree, from the convenient comfort of your own home after you’ve clocked out of work. 

Rinse Your Face Regularly

Wearing a mask does not mean you can forego washing your face properly. Your face traps oil, dirt, germs, and sweat throughout the day while you are working. When all of these mix, they cause acne breakouts. 

So, make it a habit to wash your face in the morning upon getting up, at night before going to bed, and every time you sweat while wearing the mask. You should use gentle soaps and cleansers for washing your face. If you cannot splash water at your face every time after sweating, try keeping facial wipes to clean your skin. Use gentle wipes to reduce the amount of oil and sweat accumulated on your skin.

Cleanse and Moisturize

A regular, gentle skincare routine can help prevent a number of skin problems, including maskne. You should cleanse and moisturize your face daily to avoid pores from getting clogged, which can lead to acne breakouts. 

You should use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser to wash your face every day. On the other hand, to avoid your skin from getting dry, make sure you keep it hydrated and moisturized. In order to get maximum benefits from a moisturizer, you should apply it immediately after washing your face. 

Moreover, there are different types of moisturizers for different skin types, including gel, lotion, or cream moisturizers. So, make sure you choose the right one as it can help with preventing breakouts.

Skip Makeup

There is no point in wearing makeup when your face is going to be covered for the entirety of your shift anyway. It will only lead to a further clogging up of the skin pores covered under the mask and lead to maskne. 

So, you can skip your makeup routine entirely or use it only on the parts that won’t be covered by the mask, like eyes. Moreover, if you cannot forego wearing makeup, you should then choose non-comedogenic products as these are less likely to clog your skin pores and cause acne breakouts.

Don’t Switch Your Skincare Routine

When you wear a mask for long intervals, it causes your skin to become sensitive. It isn’t safe to change your entire skincare routine or add new products to it in such a situation. You should avoid using new skincare products that can irritate your skin, especially those with harsh chemicals like retinoids.

Wear the Right Mask

Wearing the right kind of mask is essential for your own comfort and avoiding skin problems. So, look for a mask that offers a comfortable but snug fit. A snuggly fitting mask can help keep the pathogens out while, at the same time, it can also be less harmful to your skin. 

It should have at least two layers of fabric, and you should choose a soft, natural, and breathable material for your masks. The mask should be significantly softer from the inside, so you should choose a cotton fabric. Never use a mask made from synthetic material, like nylon, rayon, or polyester. These fabrics trap the heat inside.

Take Off Your Mask When Not Needed

Being in health care, nurses are bound to wear masks at all times. But that doesn’t mean they cannot take breaks by removing it. You should have at least a 15-minute mask break every 4-hours when you are not in a crowd and don’t need to necessarily wear the mask. 

You can go outside the hospital premises or into the parking lot where you can maintain a 6-feet distance while you breath freely in the outdoors. 

Keep Your Mask Clean

Wearing a clean mask will protect your skin against germs, oil, and dirt. But you should always keep your mask clean to protect your skin. If you are using disposable masks, try changing your mask every few hours, or at least once a day to reduce dirt and oil build up on your skin. However, if you use a fabric mask, you can handwash it or put it into a washing machine.

The Bottom Line

Since nurses cannot do without mask protocols, at least for any time soon, so they need to start taking proper care of their skin to prevent maskne breakouts. A gentle skincare routine can help prevent acne breakouts and keep the skin looking fresh and blemish-free.

Similar Articles




Most Popular