As many children return to school, they will sport a new must-wear accessory – a mask. While masks are an important part of keeping students, teachers and staff safe, they can have an unexpected impact on young skin: increased acne.  

“While many teens experience problem skin, acne from wearing masks is becoming quite common among all ages,” says Abby Van Voorhees, MD, Professor and Chair of Dermatology at EVMS. “Fortunately there are several steps you can take to mitigate it.”

She says the first step is to prevent “maskne” is to wash your child’s mask every day. A dirty mask can cause skin problems as well as other health issues.

The next step is to start a skin-care routine, but Dr. Van Voorhees recommends making sure the face wash includes certain ingredients. 

“When you first spot acne happening, try an over-the-counter face wash that includes salicylic acid,” Dr. Van Voorhees says. If that doesn’t clear up the problem, she advises trying a wash with Benzoyl peroxide. “It can be more drying, but it sometimes works better.”   

If neither of the above approaches is helpful, Dr. Van Voorhees recommends reaching out to a dermatologist. “There are quite a few other therapies that can be used that require prescriptions.” 

To learn about those options or make an appointment with EVMS Dermatology, call 757.446.5629 or visit EVMS Dermatology online.