Can Masks Cause Skin Problems?

Wearing a face mask is important for the prevention of Coronavirus. It has become an indispensable part of our daily lives. As the Coronavirus has barged into our lives, masks are now used universally and let’s be honest we are going to wear it for a long time as the Coronavirus cases are burgeoning every day. 

We know masks are really important for protection but they sometimes can cause irritation and skin problems. Some people can get allergy by wearing face masks which can cause serious issues to the skin. Sometimes face masks can also cause breakouts, acne, rashes and other skin problems. Acne is a very common skin problem issue faced by people wearing face masks. They can often get prickly and annoying too.

Preventing these problems is very important as the skin problems might get worse and would need the supervision of a dermatologist. The skin problems due to wearing face masks is caused because of the friction that the mask creates on our skin. The friction irritates the skin causing damage to the skin barriers. The moisture, heat, friction and dirt under the mask can be a major cause of getting skin problems.

Types of Skin Problems Caused by Face Masks

The most common skin problems reported by people is acne which is called ‘Maskne’ (mask+acne). Other common issues include redness and inflammation as the skin barriers get disrupted due to wearing face masks. 


Face masks cover the bottom part of our face. Mask acne appears under the area where the mask is worn. It occurs when sweat, oil, dirt, bacteria and other debris are trapped under the mask. The pores on the skin get blocked and cause the acne to breed. On top of it, friction caused by the fabric and trapped heat and humidity creates a breeding surface for the acne to flourish and hence causes skin sensitivity issues like acne and breakouts. 

Those who are already suffering from clogged pores and oily skin are more blemish-prone from wearing a mask. However, breakouts can also appear on the skin of any type. It’s important to follow a skin routine to prevent skin breakouts and mask acne.

Face Masks
Face Masks

Rashes and Allergies

Rashes are also a common concern when we talk about skin problems due to wearing face masks. Masks often cause soreness around your ears due to the firm holding of the strings of the mask.

Some commercial face masks are treated with a chemical known as formaldehyde which causes breakouts to the people who are allergic to this chemical. Synthetic fibres can also cause skin problems for the people who are allergic to it. Sometimes our lips can also get inflammation due to a certain allergy on the lips. 


Rosacea is a skin problem which causes redness, burning and tearing of the skin. People wearing masks while having rosacea can worsen this condition. The heat under the mask increases the inflammatory response and sebum production which can deteriorate the skin surface.


Wearing masks can also aggravate the Eczema. Eczema is a chronic skin condition which usually affects the face and jawline area. Face masks can cause discomfort and itchiness to the people having eczema on the face. Wearing masks can worsen the problem of eczema.

Tips to Prevent Skin Problems Caused by Face Masks

We cannot skip wearing face masks for the sake of the skin problems arising because of wearing it. We can prevent these problems by simple hygienic methods. People having sensitive skin should consider talking to their dermatologist, they can give the best advice according to your skin. Some of the tips to prevent breakouts and other skin problems are discussed below.

Wearing good quality masks

Choosing a good quality mask which is comfortable and soft, a mask which causes less friction and heat. If a mask is too tight and uncomfortable in wearing, it can cause skin irritation. A mask which hugs your face comfortably and is not too tight or loosely fitted will cause fewer skin problems. 

Choosing the right fabric mask is also important. Avoid the fabrics which you are allergic to and wear breathable cotton masks which will help the skin to breathe. Skin also needs air to breathe so you must choose a breathable and also a mask which prevents the Coronavirus spread.

Cleaning your masks regularly

Washing your mask is also very significant for removing dirt and other skin debris collected inside your mask. The dirt and bacteria collected inside the mask can cause skin issues. Washing it after every use can help remove bacteria and germs from the mask. You can wash your mask in a washing machine or by hand. 

Always use fragrance-free laundry detergent for washing your face mask. Health care organizations also suggest that you wash them in hot water. If the mask changes its shape or texture and does not fit properly on your face, it may be less protective.

Following a proper skincare routine

Masks cause breakouts due to sweat, dirt and oil accumulated inside them. Following a strict skincare routine and using skincare products according to the skin type can help a lot in preventing these skin issues arising from wearing face masks. One should always go for a mild, fragrance-free cleanser.

Cleansing and moisturizing is the most important part of a skincare regime. It makes the skin feel hydrated and away from all the dirt and oil. Hydrated skin will prevent the skin from various issues like breakouts and acne. It is necessary to clean your face after using a mask.

Using right skincare products 

Using skincare products which are gentle to the skin and are designed to suit your skin type is really important. There are so many alternatives available in the market. Whether your skin type is oily, dry, combination or sensitive, there are a variety of products available everywhere. A skincare product of your skin type will never irritate your skin. Always find a skincare product which suits your skin.

Summing up 

Masks have become an integral part of our lives and we should never skip wearing them when we go outside. They can help prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Skin problems because of face masks are common and can be prevented with proper skincare regime and cleaning the masks.

Taking breaks for 15 minutes by removing your mask in an isolated place can also help your skin to breathe. Following these tips can help prevent skin problems arising due to face masks 

However, if this still does not work and you see your skin getting worse, you should always consult a dermatologist. They can give you prompt advice and medication according to skin problems. 

Also read: 8 Best Face Masks