Mask-Related Skin Conditions – Acne

Here at Mahoney Dermatology Specialists, we take the safety of our patients and our staff seriously! We are wearing PPE with all patients, and all of our staff are practicing social distancing and wearing surgical masks or respirators. This has proven to be a very effective way of preventing the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, sometimes mask-wearing can lead to skin problems!


Acne may flare under a mask, likely resulting from occlusion and increased humidity. Avoid wearing makeup if you will be working for long periods with a mask. If makeup is used, choose oil-free, non-comedogenic products; mineral-based makeup is probably safest. A good cleansing and moisturizing regimen is also proven to improve acne.

If using a nonmedical (homemade or cloth) face covering, make sure the interior surfaces are soft, breathable, comfortable, and snug (quilting cotton or thread count over 180 is most effective at preventing the spread of viruses). Avoid synthetic fabrics and materials such as rayon, nylon, and polyester. Frequent washing of your mask in hot water with fragrance-free detergent is essential for reducing oil, makeup, and decreasing both viruses and bacteria. If your facial acne becomes severe, consider consulting a board-certified dermatologist!