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How to Prevent Acne Breakout When Wearing Face Masks

How to Prevent Acne Breakout When Wearing Face Masks

It is compulsory to wear a mask if you are stepping out of your house during this period. It may protect us from Covid-19 viruses but for some, wearing a mask for a couple of hours may triggers skin irritation such as eczema and acne flare-ups.

Our doctors: Dr Gerard Ee and Dr Chow Yuen Ho have shed light on the common skin problems associated with wearing masks, how to avoid skin irritation and how to care for your skin.

Common skin problems one may face after prolonged hours of wearing mask

According to Dr Ee, eczema outbreaks caused by constant wearing of masks is very common lately. The skin may turn red, itch and flake, or even ooze in more severe cases.

Dr Chow further commented that acne outbreaks are becoming very common too. This especially affects individuals with combination to oily skin. The severity of the acne can range on simple blackheads and whiteheads to painful, inflamed pustules and cysts.

Both doctors also noticed that sores are becoming common on areas like the nose, upper and side of the cheeks, which are were the edges of the mask lie on the face. These may be pressure sores or abrasions, which can cause pain and discomfort. Additionally, because the masks are on most of the time, it becomes difficult for the sores to heal properly, which leave dark marks and scars. This is the most common in”those who need to wear tight-fitting N95 face masks for prolonged periods of time, especially healthcare workers”.


When we put on a mask, we basically cover large areas of our faces, which can trigger skin irritations. Regarding this, Dr Ee,explains :

“Covering our face increases humidity and heat build-up inside the mask. This can encourage the growth of acne-causing bacteria, cause abrasions on the skin and disrupt the skin’s protective barrier.”


To sooth and manage the ailments that arise with frequent mask-wearing, it is important to facilitate the natural protection and healing of the skin. Dr Chow advises that redness, itching and flaking from eczema and other irritations and sores can be relieved by applying soothing balms and creams with milk proteins and hexapeptides that can help your skin to heal. Dr Ee further added on that using a light acne moisturiser like with ingredients like ceramides and niacinamide will help enforce the skin barrier, facilitating recovery.

To relieve acne, both our doctors recommend using topical spot treatments and creams. Products which contain ingredients like alpha and beta hydroxy acids, as well as retinoids help decongest pores and stimulate cellular turnover in the skin, making them effective in managing acne

For some of these products that our doctors recommend, you can find them at

If the problems are serious or you are simply concerned, you may contact us to schedule a consultation with our doctors. They will be pleased to help and will offer you professional medical advice and treatments.

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