After what feels like years of staying at home, Chicagoans are venturing outside. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.org) recommends you wear a mask anytime you leave your home and cannot maintain appropriate social distancing. Masks should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of your face and include multiple layers of fabric.
Staying safe is great; however, the unwelcome side effects of keeping your nose and mouth covered properly include chafing, rashes and even acne breakouts. Here are tips in how to minimize the negative side effects while keeping yourself and those around you protected:
Minimize the problem
It’s often easier to avoid a problem than treat it afterwards. CDC recommends cloth face coverings for non-healthcare providers or first responders.
For the general public…
- Have masks made with washable fabric.
- Avoid reusing the same mask all the time.
- Rotate your masks.
- Launder masks on a regular basis.
- When washing masks, avoid detergent or dryer sheets with fragrance and additives.
Wash your face
Before you put on your mask, wash your hands and then wash your face. Use a gentle, nonirritating cleanser. As soon as you take off your mask, wash your hands and then your face again. Don’t scrub! Gentle is best.
No matter your skin type, apply a moisturizer to create an effective skin barrier and restore the needed hydration all that washing strips away.
Avoid wearing makeup under your mask. Concealers and foundations could contribute to clogging your pores and creating more breakouts.
For all mask wearers, if you get a rash, irritation, or breakout, treat it as soon as possible. It won’t go away on its own, and left untreated, it can get worse. Start by washing the area with a gentle cleanser, then apply a soothing lotion or barrier ointment to help the skin heal. If you are still having a problem getting rashes and breakouts under control, please know that our office is open and you may call for an appointment. We can help.
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