MEMPHIS, Tenn. —
All of us are encouraged to wear masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but some are suffering acne breakouts and skin irritation from constant mask-wearing.
Dr. Purvisha Patel is a dermatologist in Memphis. She says acne breakouts and skin irritation reflect our daily habits, the same habits we developed long before these mask-wearing days.
Dr. Patel said, "Being stressed increases your cortisol levels and that increases oil production, and that's the component that can make these breakouts worse."
It's normal to feel stressed right now though. With civil unrest, social injustice, a pandemic, job loss, and everything else, it's a lot! But, we can find better ways to cope with our stress to nourish our largest organ, our skin.
"When we're stressed,we also stress eat. Some foods that make breakouts worse are dairy and sugar," Dr. Patel said.
So instead of rummaging through your stash of sweets and snacks, try a full glass of water first.
Dr. Patel said, "Being dehydrated can also contribute to not cleansing your pores and can make more breakouts."
She says we need at least six glasses of water a day to improve our skin's quality and function. Also, wash your face in the morning when you start your day and right before bed.
If after a few weeks your skin isn't getting better, talk to your doctor about a medicine or vitamin A derivative that can shrink oil glands. Finally, Dr. Patel says you should continue wearing a mask in public and wash hands frequently throughout the day.