No one expected facemasks to be the go-to accessory of 2020. Covid-19 is a sudden lifestyle change that is proving inescapable. Whether you sport DIY coverings for everyday errands, or use medical grade equipment on the front-line, chances are you have experienced the consequences of prolonged mask use. An associate professor of dermatology, at the UPMC Cosmetic Surgery & Skin Health Center, has reported patients reaching out for advice, concerning these problems. Dr. Suzan Obagi identified 5 typical complications. Here are some tips on how you can avoid and treat them.

  1. Contamination:
    Wash hands and face, before and after mask use. If you use a cloth mask, machine wash and dry daily. Avoid bleach, as this causes break down of mask material. Make needed adjustments to your mask as soon as you put it on. Do not touch the mask again until removal.
  2. Skin Dryness:
    Frequent face and hand washing, while necessary, does cause skin to dry out. Use a light cream or lotion after cleansing. Beware of ingredients, like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, that break down mask material.
  3. Acne:
    If heavy moisturizing cream is needed, for fighting acne, wait until after mask removal. Make-up is an opportune home for bacteria that causes acne. Consider going without, for the duration of mask usage.
  4. Chafing:
    To help avoid irritation, Face Glide™ protective balm is applied before donning a mask, to prevent the rubbing that leads to chafing. Prevention is always better than reaction. Leave nothing to chance™
  5. Eyewear Fog:
    Utilize surgical or first aid tapes. Overlay the top edge of your mask. Secure directly to upper cheeks and the bridge of the nose. This will prevent eyewear from fogging.

We all want to go back to ‘normal’ life, but it is impossible to predict when that will happen. Until then, essential precautions are in place for personal and public safety. But that does not mean we sacrifice self-care. Personal health and public health go hand in hand. Adaptation is key to navigating these issues.

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