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Heat and masks could cause more face irritation and acne



A local dermatologist said on Saturday that hot and humid weather mixed with wearing masks could cause people to see more face acne and skin irritation. 

Kara Braudis an MU Health Care Dermatologist said a lot of people are experiencing either skin irritation or flares of acne due to wearing a mask throughout the day and even more so when in the heat.

Braudis said she expects there to be an increase in face breakouts and irritation as the summer heat continues to rise and as masks ordiances continue to be in effect.

“It's always a little bit worse in the summer," Braudis. "We're definitely seeing that we bacteria and yeast both live in our hair follicles normally, but whenever there's heat and moisture, it gives them an opportunity to overgrow a little bit which can cause problems.”

Braudis said it's likely that once schools reopen in the fall there will be an influx of breakouts as teenagers and school administrators plan to wear masks throughout the school day.

Braudis also explained that N-95 masks could cause more face acne and irritation than cloth masks or surgical masks.

Braudis said N-95 masks are supposed to be worn very tight to the face in order to prevent viral transmission. That then causes some people to get chronic irritation just from the sheer pressure of the mask.

"The hair follicles are blocked all the time and are not able to open to the skin surface the way they normally should," Braudis said. "So an N-95, because it is worn so much tighter than a cloth mask or a standard surgical mask is going to be potentially more irritating."

To help with preventing acne or irritation, Braudis recommends washing your face with an antibacterial face wash and to wash your masks regularly.

She also mentioned to avoid wearing face makeup as that could clog more face pores.

"So when you're applying a product to your skin and then applying something that's occlusive and hot," Braudis said. "That product may not be performing the way that it's expected to."

Braudis said a good place to start with getting rid of the acne and irritation is trying over the counter products that contain Benzoyl Peroxide, which is an antibacterial, or facewash that contains Salicylic acid, which helps remove the keratin plugs that are present in your hair follicles or pores.

Braudis said there is also an acne medicine that has an active ingredient called Adapalene. She said it was a prescription for many years, but is now offered over the counter.

"And if that fails," Braudis said. "Then they could come and see a dermatologist or their primary care physician."

Stay up-to-date on this developing story here and on KQFX at 9 p.m. & KMIZ at 10 p.m.

Boone / Columbia / Columbia Video / Coronavirus / Health / Health / Top Stories / Video
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Amber Tabeling

Amber joined the ABC 17 News team as a multimedia journalist in December 2019. She was a student-athlete at Parkland College and Missouri Valley College. She hails from a small town in Illinois.


1 Comment

  1. Another reason not to wear a completely unnecessary mask.
    Case count WAY up. Death count a slight rise in some areas. Which means mortality rate is WAY down, no worse than influenza, possibly better. Apply a little simple math and some critical thinking. Stop believing every thing the Psychopaths In Charge tell you.

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