Face masks have played an essential role in stopping the spread of COVID-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic. During this time, people with acne and rosacea have widely reported new or worsening symptoms due to the long hours they spend wearing protective face masks. Mask-related rosacea and acne flare-ups, often referred to as “maskne,” during the COVID-19 pandemic can affect the quality of life of sufferers and affect long-term skin health.
According to one survey of rosacea sufferers by Galderma, 52% of respondents admitted to wearing a mask to hide the disease despite worsening of their symptoms, while 40% reported that they don’t go out as often to avoid having to wear a mask. It’s important that sufferers find the right balance between wearing a mask where required and appropriately managing their rosacea symptoms.
Stick to Routines
It is important to stick to your regular skincare routine, keep your schedule and maintain a semblance of your normal life, even if you aren’t leaving the house or working like you might normally. Sleep patterns play an important role in how we deal with stress too, so don’t stay up too late if you don’t normally. You should also spend time outdoors without a mask (depending on current guidelines). Mental health is linked to the severity of rosacea symptoms, so including a daily walk in your routine may be beneficial for maintaining mental health as well as for rosacea symptoms.
Cleanse and Moisturise Daily
Many people who have rosacea often don’t wash rosacea-prone skin enough because their skin already feels irritated. The right cleansing routine can, however, make all the difference by removing oil and dirt that worsens symptoms. Cleanse your face twice a day very gently with a mild, rosacea friendly cleanser (not soap).
Whether rosacea makes your skin dry or oily, it’s important to moisturise. Applying a rosacea friendly moisturiser or barrier repair cream helps hydrate your skin by trapping water, reducing irritation and making your skin feel more comfortable.
Protect Your Skin from the Mask
Applying a fragrance-free moisturiser for sensitive skin can maintain skin barrier function and reduce the potential for irritation or abrasion from a face mask. Try to always use a new or clean mask. Opt for a plain cloth mask made with natural materials like cotton rather than N95 masks, which are only recommended for specific situations. Experiment with different mask designs to find one that fits well and doesn’t cause irritation or overheating. There are many designs available, including no-sew options.
Choose Rosacea Friendly Skin Products
To reduce the likelihood of flare-ups, ensure that in general you are buying skin products that don’t contain any of the following:
- Glycolic acid
- Lactic acid
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (commonly found in shampoos and toothpaste)
When choosing a sunscreen, look for something with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (or both), silicone (may be listed as dimethicone or cyclomethicone), broad-spectrum protection, SPF 30 or higher and no fragrance.
Book a Consultation at Vein Care for More Help
Vein Care provides a range of skin care treatments including removing varicose veins as well as resolving other skin issues, including non surgical vein treatment. To find out more or to make an appointment for a consultation, please call our helpful patient service staff on 1300 730 100 or contact us online.