How To Save Yourself From Maskne in Malaysia


Since the COVID-19 outbreak, there’s been a variety of changes to how we live our social lives. Not only that, but it has also changed the way our skin react to the environment as we continue to wear face masks whenever we’re outdoors.

While the constant wearing of face mask is for everyone’s good, that is to reduce the infection rates in Malaysia, we can’t help but notice the effects of such behaviour on our skin.

In Malaysia, there has been a surge of the number of people getting facial treatments caused by skin irritation and acne breakouts which has led to mask-induced acne, also known as maskne.

Experts believe that prolonged use of face mask causes an occlusive effect, leading to high temperature and humidity around the mask area as the skin isn’t exposed to the air. This results in increased production of sebum and pore occlusion, which causes maskne over the chin, nose bridge, and cheeks.

For those with sensitive skin or has suffered from acne for years, they may experience severe cases of maskne which may worsen their skin condition. That said, we’ll be sharing what will happen if maskne isn’t properly managed.

What happens if acne is mismanaged?

You see, the skin has tiny holes, known as pores, which can be clogged by oil, dirt, dead skin cells, and bacteria. When this occurs, it causes pimple to develop and over time, may lead to acne scar and you might need to undergo laser acne scar removal treatment if it gets worse in the future.

While it’s not a life-threatening condition, acne can be painful and cause emotional distress. Not only that, but acne can also affect your self-esteem, and may cause permanent scarring on your face.

Depending on the severity of the acne on your skin, it may cause your skin to appear red at all times, brown spots to develop, and uneven skin texture due to depressed scars. Here’s a brief explanation of the three aforementioned effects.

1.  Redness (skin inflammation)

When your pores are deeply clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria, it can cause your skin to appear inflamed. Over time, your skin will be left with red scars which can be difficult to treat if you don’t seek immediate treatment.

2.  Brown spots (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation)

The human skin is capable of healing itself but with a price, that is the development of brown spots due to increased melanin production. When your skin is inflamed or injured, it triggers melanin-producing cells to release excess pigment granules, which in turn darken and discolour the wounded area.

3.  Uneven skin texture (depressed scars)

When your acne breakout penetrates deep into your skin, it can damage the tissues beneath the skin, causing scars to form. Additionally, depressed scars may form as a result of improper acne extraction or excessive use of products that contain acid, which heightens the skin’s sensitivity.

Ways to prevent maskne

Now that you know the effects of acne on your skin, let’s dive into the various ways to prevent maskne.

Wash your face regularly

If you have sensitive skin and is prone to acne, wash your face at least twice a day with a gentle face wash (acid-free cleansers) to prevent the skin from becoming thinner and more sensitive. Avoid over-washing to prevent dryness and skin inflammation.

Use a non-comedogenic moisturiser

Invest in a moisturiser that contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides to prevent dry skin condition which may stimulate sebum production, hence causing more breakouts. Make sure to diligently apply the moisturiser when your skin feels dry.

Avoid reusing surgical masks

Surgical masks are reserved for healthcare workers to prevent bacterial or viral infection. However, if you decide to use them, make sure that you don’t reuse it as surgical masks can’t be cleaned.

Skip the makeup

Makeup may work to cover your blemishes but can clog your pores and lead to breakouts. With the added use of face masks which trap your breath and makeup residues, your skin will remain moist and susceptible to bacterial growth.

Treating maskne with professional help

Good news is that maskne is treatable with a proper skincare routine, be it at home or in the doctor’s office. If your skin starts to show signs of maskne, make sure to skip the makeup and enhance your skincare routine.

Also, you may want to keep yourself hydrated at all times as prolonged use of face mask can cause skin abrasion and irritation, making the skin vulnerable to bacterial infection. If you notice some swelling or redness on your face, be sure to apply anti-inflammatory pimple cream to the affected area for a soothing effect.

If your maskne doesn’t improve with your enhanced skin care treatment at home, it’s best to seek medical advice from the dermatologist. Ahead, we’re sharing some of the treatments available for maskne.

1.  Dual Yellow Laser treatment

This treatment uses advanced technology to produce two wavelengths of lasers – 578nm yellow light and 511nm green light, which is ideal for laser pore removal, laser acne removal and laser skin glowing. The dual yellow laser can create a photochemical reaction in your skin to treat acne and induce skin rejuvenation.

2.  Topical creams

In some cases, topical creams may work to brighten dark spots caused by your skin’s healing process. Make sure to look for one that contains skin lightening agent such as liquorice extracts, niacinamide, and kojic acid. Some creams may contain additional ingredients to brighten dark spots.

3.  Fractional laser resurfacing

For those already suffering from acne, maskne may further worsen the skin condition by causing depressed scars on the skin. Removing the top layer of your skin with laser resurfacing may just do the trick to reveal smoother, healthier skin. Note that this treatment may not be suitable for anyone who’s still getting breakouts.

While maskne can be aggravating, ditching the mask is not an option during this pandemic. If you’re looking to reduce the effects of maskne or laser for pores on your skin, pimples specialist doctor like Dr Ginny Clinic can provide tailored treatments based on your skin condition.