COVID-19: Beauty therapists seeing surge in 'mascne' - mask-related acne

Here's a term you might want to get used to; "mascne" or acne, caused by masks.

It's a new phenomenon and beauty therapists throughout New Zealand are now doing their own COVID-19 pivot to treat it.

Beauty therapist Natasha Anderson has been having regular treatments for mascne.

"I've definitely noticed through the lip and chin area up to the nose, there has been more frequency with breakouts," she told Newshub.

Anderson has seen an upsurge in people seeking help for the mask-related acne.

"This is such a crazy thing that we've been involved in, but you know, it is a thing," said Kirstin Mauger of Faceamour Skin and Body Clinic.

"The friction that it causes is causing skin irritations, so we're seeing an increase of acne, sensitivity, dermatitis [and] psoriasis," said Nicola Austin of Christchurch's Merivale Health and Beauty.

Acne is something we usually associate with our teenage years but not now.

"My beautiful client yesterday, she's in her 80s - mascne all over," Austin told Newshub.

Mask acne is now standard treatment for many beauty therapists around the world. Masks are particularly hard on skin for the working people who now sometimes have to wear them all day long.

Middle-aged woman is struggling with maskne, red spots caused by wearing a face mask
Photo credit: Getty Images

A report found 83 percent of health care workers in a province in China suffered skin problems on their faces. Blue light is a good treatment.

"About 50 percent of my clientele are booking in for LED treatments because of mascne," Mauger said.

There are other things you can do at home, like break up with make-up.

"The make-ups oils that can cause a breeding ground for bacteria which is not good for the skin either," said Austin.

Also, treat masks like underwear and wash them every day.

Skincare brands around the world now sell "mascne" essentials. The American Academy of Dermatology has even released advice on the subject.