With the Coronavirus pandemic, we are facing new challenges every day, including “maskne”. Wearing a face mask is an important way to help slow the spread of COVID-19, but the constant face covering has created a new problem. Face coverings have caused people to break out on their faces, specifically in the area where the mask is worn. This is “maskne” or mask acne. Everyone is struggling with maskne now, but those with allergies or eczema are more likely to experience this issue.

Maskne & Eczema

You are more likely to experience maskne if you are already struggling with skin issues. This includes eczema or allergies. When struggling with eczema, it is important not to irritate the affected areas. This might be difficult when struggling with eczema on the face and wearing a mask. One way to decrease irritation with a mask is to make sure the mask fits properly. Wearing a mask that does not fit properly can increase chaffing and lead to irritation and maskne or a worsening of eczema.

Maskne & Allergies

When struggling with allergies, it is important to note that you might be allergic to your mask. Some commercial face masks may be pre-treated with formaldehyde, which is used to disinfect them. This may cause a breakout or allergic reaction to those who are allergic to this chemical. Some people may also be allergic to synthetic fabrics, which may also be used in commercial face coverings. Also, washing face coverings often is important for disinfection, however some people are allergic to specific forms of detergents or softeners.

Avoidance is the first step to reducing allergy symptoms and helping reduce maskne. It is important to know if you are allergic to any detergents, softeners, synthetic fibers, chemicals, etc. so that you can avoid them when purchasing, wearing, or washing your face covering. If you need allergy testing, National Allergy & ENT offers both skin and patch testing, so that they can provide you with clear guidance as to your allergies and how to treat them. To schedule an appointment please call (843) 212-7976 or schedule online.


Chien, Anna. “Coronavirus: Tips to Avoid ‘Maskne’ Skin Irritation.” Coronavirus: Tips to Avoid “Maskne” Skin Irritation | Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2020, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-tips-to-avoid-maskne-skin-irritation.