Preventing the dreaded “maskne”

Monday, March 15, 2021

By: Alysha Schertz

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Woman with acne removing face mask.

For almost a year now, most of us have been adhering to local and national guidelines and wearing a mask – sometimes for long periods of time.


While masks are a necessary measure in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our community, wearing one can come with challenges, particularly as it relates to our skin, says Nick Grimm, PA-C, dermatology services provider with Plastic Surgery & Skin Specialists by BayCare Clinic.


Cases of “maskne”- or mask-related acne are not uncommon among people who’ve always had to wear masks or helmets, but now everyone is at risk in their daily lives, says Grimm.


“Oil glands that get obstructed from dirt, debris, or just something coming into contact with the skin, they can get occluded and acne lesions can develop as a result,” says Grimm. “With masks, you’re breathing, it’s hot, you’re sweating into your mask... it’s coming into contact with your skin and occluding the skin – sometimes for a long period of time.”


According to Grimm, changing your mask frequently and maintaining a proper skincare routine can help reduce the chance of breakouts.


“Most of this can be controlled at home,” says Grimm. “But if the condition worsens or doesn’t seem to improve with your regular skincare routine, seeking professional help is certainly recommended.”


Grimm, a physician’s assistant who is fellowship trained in dermatology, treats acne and other skin conditions but also works hand in hand with the aesthetics team at Plastic Surgery & Skin Specialists by BayCare Clinic to evaluate the skincare needs of each patient.


“If treatment is needed, we can provide everything from topical medications to skincare products and treatments that can help clear up any mask-related acne,” he says.


Caitlin Romenesko, a medical aesthetician with Plastic Surgery & Skin Specialists agrees.


“Sticking to a strict skin care routine that involves regular cleansing and moisturizing will help reduce your chances of mask-related acne,” says Romenesko. “Moisturizer can prevent dry skin, but also adds a protective layer that can help reduce irritation caused by wearing a mask.”


Additionally, services provided by the aesthetics team at Plastic Surgery & Skin Specialists by BayCare Clinic like customized facials, skin peels and hydrating treatments like the HydraFacial® can help reduce the chance of mask-related acne as well.


Washing your mask frequently, particularly after exercise or excessive sweating, is also important.


“A clean mask is crucial, and if you can safely remove your mask for a few minutes each day to let your skin breathe that’s good too,” says Grimm.


Not wearing a mask, when and where mandated, is not recommended.


“Right now, masks are a necessary part of our society,” says Grimm. “There are ways to do so without causing problems for our skin, but if problems do arise, our team is here to help. We are expertly trained to evaluate your skin conditions and make recommendations for treatments and products that are right for you."


Nick Grimm, PA-C, dermatology services provider sees patients in Green Bay and Marinette. Consultations with our medical aesthetics team in Green Bay are always complimentary. To request an appointment, call 920-288-8240 or do so online.

© 2021 BayCare Clinic.

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BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.