Model Bella Hadid wearing a yellow shirt, blueish pants and a black face mask


Maskne Is Real — Here’s How To Deal With It

The best spot treatments and patches on the market.

Have you noticed random breakouts around your cheeks, chin, and possibly the nose? Are they contradicting your otherwise acne-free skin? If yes, at least take comfort in knowing you're not alone. While you most likely are blaming the heat or excessive humidity, these new breakouts might have a lot more to do with routine mask wearing than any palpable shifts in the weather.

Wearing a mask has quickly become a new standard, in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus, but it has also triggered a series of skin issues, namely 'maskne.' (Yes, a real thing!) Characterized by acne around your chin, cheek and any area covered by your mask, it is the technical term for "acne mechanica" caused by the mechanical friction of cloth against your skin. It isn't new either — athletes and football players have for years suffered the brunt of such breakouts from constantly having to wear helmets and chin guards. Now, it's affecting a size-able chunk of the population as dermatologists cite an increasing number of patients reporting the condition.

"I have seen Maskne in a lot of patients," says Dr. Shari Sperling of Sperling Dermatology. "It is caused from the heat, sweat, bacteria and oils in the skin that are built up by the constant and continuous wearing of masks. Your skin is not able to breathe and those oils that are naturally being produced are clogging your pores." The question, then, is how do you get rid of it? According to Dr. Sperling, the best treatment for these pesky breakouts is to opt for over-the-counter products including benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. If the condition worsens, Dr. Sperling says it's best to consult a board-certified dermatologist for other, more powerful treatments.

Ahead, check out 10 of the very best spot treatments, washes, and patches, specifically designed to target acne caused by sweat and the clogging of pores.

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