Protect skin under your face mask
Face masks cover the noses and mouths of more people than ever right now. While they provide crucial help in reducing the risk of COVID-19 virus transmission, they can also cause skin irritation at areas of friction: the bridge of your nose, behind your ears and along your jawline.
This is especially true for people with acne or conditions such as eczema, rosacea or psoriasis. If you notice any ongoing redness or a rash under your mask, talk to your health care provider.
Better yet, you may be able to prevent irritation problems with your face mask by:
- Finding a good fit — A mask should be tight enough that it won’t slip or fall off. But it shouldn’t be so tight that it leaves marks or bruises the skin.
- Cleaning and moisturizing your skin before masking — After washing your hands, wash and dry your face. Before putting the mask on, rub a thin layer of moisturizer — lotion or cream — on your face. Most people only need to do this once a day. However, those wearing masks for long periods may benefit from repeating once during the day. Avoid wearing makeup or foundation beneath the mask, as the chemicals in makeup may cause skin to break out in acne or a rash.
- Washing and moisturizing after use — After removing your mask for the day, wash your hands and face thoroughly with cleanser and water. Apply a moisturizing lotion or cream to your face and neck.
- Washing your mask regularly — Wash cloth masks at least daily to disinfect. This can be done by hand or in a washing machine. Hand-washing is generally easier on the mask.
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