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Expert: How you can avoid ‘maskne’

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DULUTH, MN-- Minnesota Governor Tim Walz reiterated the importance of wearing a mask as he announced new restrictions on the state Tuesday and while proven to help stop the spread of coronavirus, they're causing some adverse effects for some.

The term "maskne" is a real thing said Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Dr. Lori Fiessinger.

"It's definitely a real thing! despite having the cutest name ever it's a real condition we are seeing frequently as dermatologists," said Dr. Fiessinger.

Dr. Fiessinger adds masks can cause irritation, rashes, and create acne if worn for long periods of time. "They also can lock in oil, dirt debris, and bacteria, and kind of create a more moist humid environment that allows some bacteria to thrive."

Dr. Fiessinger said Healthcare and Frontline workers experience "maskne" more heavily than others because of the long hours but there are some precautions you can take to help minimize it, like choosing the right kind of mask.

"You want to pick a mask that has breathable light fabric to it, ideally cotton, ideally two layers of fabric with it," said Dr. Fiessinger.

You also want to make sure it fits your face right.
Along with gentle skincare, Dr. Fiessinger said washing your mask is important.

"Washing masks really frequently after every single-use is important because that's going to get that locked in the dirt, oil, debris, and bacteria out."

Dr. Fiessinger adds you can either hand wash it with hot water or depending on what type of mask you own, toss it into the washer at night to make sure you have a fresh one for the next day.

"We can all do our part by masking," said Dr. Fiessinger.

Lyanne Valdez

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