More than ever before, people are experiencing skin problems related to acne, especially around their faces, due to wearing masks, sometimes for extended periods throughout the day. This issue has become so common and chronic, people refer to it as maskne — mask + acne — and dermatologists take this problem just as seriously as their patients.
Living in the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t been easy, but you’ve been making the best of it by following the healthy steps to stay out of harm’s way and protecting your immune system.
Wearing a mask outdoors when running simple errands — going to the grocery store, taking a walk around your neighborhood or navigating situations where social distancing is not feasible — has become our new normal, and it’s likely to stay that way for a little while longer.
It’s nothing new
Maskne isn’t new. Way before the coronavirus pandemic, this issue arose more than you think, mostly with sweaty athletes who wear helmets with straps.
Most of the steps these institutions recommend are based on common sense.
- Keep your face clean with mild soaps (definitely no antibacterial soaps).
- Easy on the makeup and skincare products if you use them.
- On masks, be sure you’re using ones made from materials that don’t irritate your skin and wash fabric masks you’re regularly wearing.
- Men with facial hair or fair skin and extra hair follicles, pay attention to excess irritation and ingrown hairs.
Some professionals even believe probiotic cosmetic creams can be a good way to treat acne. Certainly, some creams may help but do they get to the heart of the problem?
Your gut’s role
When it comes to acne, the health of your gut really matters in several ways, demonstrating that the gut-skin-brain axis connection is a real thing.
For one, doctors prescribe lots of medications to treat acne. In moderate to severe cases, antibiotics are the go-to drugs that create all kinds of problems we’ve discussed a lot in this space.
Unmanaged stress is another concern that triggers acne. There’s certainly plenty of that to go around with having to deal with the coronavirus every day, not to mention poor Western diets full of sugar and a lack of exercise.
These challenges disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut, triggering inflammation that shows up on your body as acne or, in this case, maskne.
So what can you do about it?
An extensive report detailed in Frontiers in Microbiology points to a simple solution: Successful treatments of acne with varieties of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families in the form of probiotics.
What’s more, we’ve seen over and over how probiotics formulated with multiple strains of beneficial bacteriathat promote a diverse, healthy gut microbiome make a big difference in the health of your gut which happens to be connected to your brain and skin too.
EndoMune Advanced Probiotic features a proprietary blend of 10 beneficial strains of bacteria, along with a very important prebiotic (FOS), to protect your gut-brain-skin axis and help ease the effects of maskne.
- Yale Medicine
- New York Times
- Mayo Clinic
- Frontiers in Microbiology
- Journal of Clinical Medicine: Acne review