Mask induced dermatose during COVID-19. It’s effect,causes and prevention

Mask induced dermatose


It was the most dreadful time in the human history when world was hit by COVID-19 pandemic. The use of mask was an essential tool to prevent the harmful effects of Coronavirus. Authorities were strictly complying the use of mask . But the long term use of the mask resulted in serious dermatological problems including acne, rashes, dermatitis ,intertrigo and many more . All these are commonly referred as “mask induced dermatose” or “mask related skin problems”.

It’s main cause is the moisture and oil trapping under the mask which leads to an environment which is conducive for acne breakouts.

Effects of Mask induced dermatose:

Acne or Maskne :

When people around the world were encouraged to use the mask during COVID-19 pandemic. A term arouse on the stage of medical field that is known as Maskne . It’s a combination of two words “mask” and “acne” . Acne breakouts after wearing mask for long time is known as Maskne. Constant rubbing by mask generates friction, sweat and oil production clog pores and bacterial growth also enhances in moist and warm environment results in Maskne

Young woman with prevention mask and skin irritation on white background. Maskne – acne breakouts from wearing a face mask.

RESEARCH REFERENCE: Maskne” has been one of the negative spinoffs of the universally acceptable and effective role of face mask in containing the ongoing pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 virus or COVID 19. Several factors contribute to its aetiopathogenesis including heat, humidity, mechanical friction and microbiome dysbiosis in a complex interplay under the occlusive area of the mask.


Folliculitis is another common medical condition which is the infection of hair follicles and mask use for long time is it’s one of the main cause . Enhanced bacterial growth,oil and sweat production and friction under the mask cause infection of hair follicles in dermis . Swollen ,red,painful bumps which resembles like pimples appears on skin.

RESEARCH REFERENCE:Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus‐2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) has become a significant health problem globally. The virus has spread widely and become a global pandemic. The pathophysiology for SARS‐CoV‐2 has not been explained clearly. It has been associated with several multiorgan symptoms, among which its dermatological manifestations are of great interest. Primarily, there has been no report of skin features among COVID‐19 patients. Nevertheless, recently there have been several reports regarding COVID‐19 patients who presented with cutaneous manifestations. In the current review, we focus on the various cutaneous manifestations of COVID‐19 infection


Intertrigo is the infection of skin folds characterized by infection and inflammation in skin folds or creases . Enhanced use of mask during COVID-19 also resulted in intertrigo.In intertrigo when two surfaces rub against each other, leading to mositure accumulation and friction. This results in red,inflamed and itchy skin . Foul odour due to bacterial growth and oozing or crusting of skin in severe case.

Contact Dermatitis:

Contact dermatitis is another term frequently associated with the use of such material in the mask during COVID-19 pandemic which act as an irritant for highly sensitive skin e.g Neoprene . And as we know the severity of infection depend on contact with irritant so long term mask use is highly contagious for patients of Contact Dermatitis .

RESEARCH REFERENCE :There is a real evidence of the rising prevalence of irritant and allergic contact dermatitis in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The most commonly recorded symptoms are dryness, itch and redness of the skin. Nasal bridge, cheeks, forehead and hands represent the mainly affected skin sites.

Pressure sores:

Prolonged pressure from the mask on the side of ear and on the bridge of nose can cause pressure sores and will lead to redness,swelling and itching .

Fungal infection:

Hot and humid environment created by the wearing of mask can promote the fungal growth which ultimately leads to fungal infection that might cause dreadful results

.Worsening of pre-existing conditions:

If a person is already suffering from cystic acne , wearing a mask may aggravate it by increasing the oil and sweat production as well as also by increasing heat production .


Take mask break :

When you are wearing mask for a long time try to take a break where it’s possible, when you are at a place where there is minimum chance of getting infection.

It might be time to replace your fabric masks.

Moisturize your skin:

Keep your skin hydrated and healthy. It will help you to combat any infection which attacks and damage your skin .

Avoid makeup under mask:

Building up of sweat and oil along with the cosmatic chemicals under the mask will result in the clogging of pores and pre existing conditions of acne prone skin will aggravate and can result in new acne breakouts.

Keep the face clean

Wash your used mask regularly

Consult a dermatologist:

Skin conditions vary from person to person. So don’t follow any rumour regarding skin care. And don’t apply skin care products blindly on your face. You should consult a dermatologist first before applying any type of product .


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