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Avera Medical Minute: Skincare while wearing a mask

Mask mandate at East Lansing farmers market.
Mask mandate at East Lansing farmers market.(WILX)
Published: Jul. 12, 2020 at 10:54 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Wearing a mask, especially in the heat of the day, may mean your skin will be irritated.

Avera Dermatologist Dr. Jenny Nelson sees patients with irritations from wearing a mask.

“Like a football player, you know they’re gonna have more acne during the season, until you take that helmet away,” said Dr. Nelson.

Avera Dermatologist Dr. Mandi Greenway and her staff see how the type of mask you wear can affect how your skin reacts.

“Some cloth masks, you’re really not going to go a lot of irritation from them so absolutely I encourage everyone to wear one when you’re out in public, especially in indoor spaces when you can do social distancing, please wear a cloth mask,” said Dr. Greenway.

The tighter masks take more of a toll.

"If you're wearing an N-95, that's a lot more harsh on your face and then wearing cloth. Those are easier," said Dr. Nelson.

To prevent a breakout or irritation, keep your skin clean.

“Use a gentle cleanser, so not the real harsh soaps that are going to lather a lot and get lots of bubbles. So the more bubbles, the more that skin is going to break down, so nice gentle cleansers, and then moisturize. Vaseline Aquafer, the thicker, the better, so lots of moisturization,” said Dr. Greenway.

If you do break out, some products can help.

“If you’re getting a lot of acne, probably just using a benzoyl peroxide which is, you know, over the counter to visit zapper cream you supply that several times a day to new lesions that should shorten the life of them,” said Dr. Nelson.

A mask that works for one person, may not work for another.

“Find a mask, that’s right for you because all of our faces and heads are different shapes and sizes,” said Dr. Nelson.

Positioning the straps can make a difference. The most important thing...

"Just wear them. I know people don't like them but we really do think they help," said Dr. Nelson.

“Being responsible, you know, remembering we’re all in this together and taking, taking care of each other,” said Dr. Greenway.

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