Updated: Mar 30, 2022
The CDC's most recent public-health advisory recommends that every American wear a cloth face covering in public to slow the spread of COVID-19. With that said you will soon discover the uncomfortable side effect of keeping your nose and mouth covered for a long period of time: rashes, chafing, and even breakouts. Dr. Zeichner explains. "This can lead to a build up of sweat and oil on the skin under the mask, which can lead to inflammation, rashes, and even acne breakouts." After washing your hands, you want to make sure you also wash your face thoroughly before and after wearing a mask. Apply a lightweight moisturizer, you want to make sure you skin barrier is in the best shape possible, which means it's both balanced and hydrated." Also, skip the makeup. If you do have a rash or any other skin issue you might need a teledermatology appointment to assess what's going on. At the end of the day, protecting yourself and others is the number one priority — and maintaining a strong skin barrier (which helps prevent the spread of bacteria, viruses, and infection) is just as much a part of that as wearing a mask.