Managing “Mask-Ne” and Acne

Managing “Mask-Ne” and Acne

There are a lot of factors that could contribute to your acne problem, from genetics to hormones to dietary factors. In 2020, a new factor comes into the mix, as some people have found that the necessity of wearing masks to reduce transmission of COVID-19 causes acne flare ups.

If you're dealing with stubborn acne this season, whether from mask-wearing or some other cause, you don't have to just grin and bear it. The care team at Apex Dermatology, led by Karin Harp, MD, FAAD, advises new and existing patients from around the Westlake Village, California area. Here's what Dr. Harp suggests for her patients who are concerned about managing skin complaints, including acne and “mask-ne.”

Why can wearing masks make acne worse?

When you have an acne breakout, your whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples occur due to excess facial oils clogging your pores. Regular skin cleansing is the first step to taking control of your acne. Wash your face gently with soap and water about twice a day to control acne. When you cleanse with a gentle product, the excess oil and dead skin that create a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and acne are removed, and the surface of your skin is left fresh and clear.

The fabrics that come in contact with your facial skin are a known culprit for potential acne outbreaks. You may have heard advice to make sure and keep your pillowcase clean to prevent acne, as your cheek presses against the material throughout the night. If you're frequently wearing a face mask, or staying masked for a long time, you might find your acne reacting negatively.

While face masks remain essential to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, you can take steps to deal with “mask-ne.” Cleanse your face when you're able, and make sure to change to clean masks frequently. This will prevent buildups of oil and dead skin from becoming as much of a problem, and give your stressed-out facial skin a break. Apex Dermatology offers a curated collection of specialized cleansers and acne reducers at

Get the treatment support you need

Stubborn acne can be frustrating and embarrassing. Don't feel like you have to go through managing your acne alone. The Apex Dermatology care team can do a lot to help, even in the constantly changing pandemic situation.

If you've been using a skin care regimen, make sure you continue to do so. If you need professional support to put together a treatment regimen for your acne-prone skin, use VideoVisits with the Apex Dermatology staff to determine the best products and procedures for your unique skin care requirements.

For particularly stubborn acne, Dr. Harp, Kristin Rupert PA-C and Sherri Anderson PA-C may recommend medications, or cosmetic in-office procedures like Laser Genesis treatment or a chemical peel appointment. We take precautions at our Westlake Villages, California office to protect you from COVID-19 transmission, if you need to come in for a treatment session in-person.

To learn more about how the Apex Dermatology team can help you with acne or “mask-ne” problems, get in touch with our knowledgeable and supportive staff today. You can schedule your consultation appointment by giving us a call, or use our online booking tool at your convenience.

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