Face masks, how to protect the skin for the summer

Face masks, how to protect the skin for the summer

The heat and the use of the mask for several hours a day can irritate the skin, leading to dermatitis and rosacea: the 7 rules to protect the face

It goes towards the hottest months of the year. And there you go with masks, which are among the basic protection measures for Sars-CoV-2 virus infection. Even if you shyly start talking about a less strict use of these protective devices outdoors, there is no doubt that bearing them for several hours in hot weather and sweating can become more difficult.

How to behave to protect yourself while respecting the skin? The answer comes from the experts of SIDeMaST, the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, who have drawn up a handbook to promote coexistence between rising temperatures and masks,

What happens with the heat?

With the hot-humid climate typical of our summers, those suffering from dermatological diseases can have a series of problems which, precisely due to the presence of masks, can become accentuated. In fact, heat generally tends to worsen discomfort such as itching, burning, erythema, scaling of the skin and irritation.

Obviously the situation worsens if you suffer from pre-existing skin diseases such as acne, which despite being a typically adolescent disorder affects 15% of adults, or rosacea that affects more than 3 million Italians, so much so as to talk about maskne, neologism son of the fusion of “mask” and “acne”: “Clinical studies – explains Gabriella Fabbrocini, Director of SIDeMaST – have recently shown that wearing masks continuously and for a prolonged time would exacerbate acne and / or other pre-existing or latent skin irritations. In fact, 90% of patients attribute the worsening of acne and rosacea to the use of the mask and 30% declare that the disease has developed or exacerbated due to the same.

The use of the mask for many hours a day causes an occlusion that can cause alteration of the skin microbiota and therefore of the lipid film. Compared to the emergency we are experiencing, the mask is a negligible side effect if we evaluate the cost-benefit ratio deriving from the use of the mask. But the effects on the skin must be taken care of and not underestimated, to avoid the tendency to not wear the mask, which is fundamental in protecting against contagion from Sars-CoV-2. I would like to emphasize that having to keep the mask on the face all day, you must be very careful when applying creams whose occlusive effect should not be neglected. Therefore, the often aggressive anti-acne therapy must be "calibrated" well with the dermo-routine. "

Eye to contact dermatitis and rosacea

With the use of the mask, contact dermatitis also worsens: "Dermatitis – says Pasquale Frascione, Vice President of SIDeMaST – can be caused, for example, by the composition of the elastic or the sensitivity to the metal used to model the mask on the nose. But they can also be attributed to the inappropriate use of the mask. If we tend to use it for a very long time (over 6 hours consecutively) or to re-use it we could have allergic reactions as often traces of cosmetics containing preservatives and dyes may be present in the masks used. Or there may be traces of detergents if the mask, once washed, has not been rinsed well, or, if it has been disinfected with a detergent spray, it is not yet dry ”.

Rosacea also worsens with the use of masks: "The worsening – explains Ketty Peris, President of SIDeMaST – is due to what we could define an" occlusive or condensation "effect, unfortunately destined to increase due to the heat, which is the first enemy of rosacea. In fact, the water vapor produced by the breath turns into a liquid that cannot dry out – and therefore make the skin breathe – because it is actually blocked by the mask. For this reason, irritation on the face appears or worsens and, since temperatures rise during this period, the sensation of heat and discomfort also increases. It is therefore easy to understand how these conditions can lead to a worsening of rosacea ".

The seven rules to protect yourself

The handbook developed by the SIDeMaST dermatologists can also help restore a healthy appearance, especially in this period: here are the simple rules to follow:

  • Always wear white CE certified masks, in natural or hypoallergenic fabrics that can help the skin to breathe, avoiding masks in synthetic fabrics;
  • Change / wash the mask regularly, using neutral detergents or biological and hypoallergenic products;
  • Try to avoid makeup if you know you will have to wear the mask for an extended period;
  • Pay the utmost attention to the choice of products for the cleansing and hydration routine;
  • In the morning, upon awakening, start with a targeted cleansing with slightly more acidic and sebum-regulating detergents, but always delicate. Then apply non-comedogenic topical products and allow them to be completely absorbed before putting on the mask. Skin hydration is essential, it is better to apply the cream then at least thirty minutes before putting on the mask;
  • With the arrival of summer, don't forget a sun filter because the sun's rays also pass through the fabrics. Today there are very light spray versions that cancel the feeling of heaviness;
  • To prevent damage such as abrasions or irritation, a hydrocolloid dressing can be used to be placed under the eyelids or on the bridge of the nose;
  • If inflammation occurs, contact the dermatologist immediately;
  • Pay close attention to nutrition, avoiding too much sugar and alcohol and opting for a diet that traces the healthy habits of the Mediterranean diet.
  • Read also

    • Anti-Covid-19 skin and nail masks, here's how to protect yourself
    • Maskne: what it is and how to fight it with the right treatment
    • Maskne, how to prevent acne from masks in times of Covid-19
    • Rosacea, how it manifests itself and how it is addressed
    • Rosacea, hypertension among the risk factors

    Tag: Face Care Skin Care Face & Body

    Category: Health
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