How Dermatologists Treat Face Mask Acne
At Goldenberg Dermatology, our dermatologists have been helping patients successfully treat acne for many years. However, now, both the added stress of the coronavirus pandemic and the constant wearing of face masks has caused an increase in the number of people suffering from acne breakouts.
Whether you have been experiencing the pain and embarrassment of acne breakouts for some time – or if acne is a new problem due to face masks and stress – in this article we offer information on the treatments that can help.
How Stress Causes Acne
During stressful situations the human body increases production of a substance called “cortisol”. This so-called “stress hormone” was designed to increase heart rate, blood flow and energy in humans when they are in a difficult situation. But chronic and ongoing stress, like that caused by the Covid-19 situation, ends up affecting other bodily systems.
One such side effect of increased cortisol is increased production of oil (sebum). This sebum clogs pores, causing dirt and debris to accumulate, in which bacteria can develop, causing acne breakouts.
Stress acne can cause flare-ups in teens and adults who are already prone to acne breakouts. But stress can also result in acne developing in adults who have never before experienced acne.
How Face Masks Cause Acne
Obviously, face masks are designed to keep germs out – but this also serves to trap moisture, skin oils and dead skin cells inside the mask. As a result, this trapped debris can clog pores – causing many people to experience pimples and acne eruptions from prolonged mask wearing.
Additionally, as the face mask rubs against the skin it can wear away the outer layers of the skin – causing cracks and abrasions that are the perfect entryway into the skin for harmful acne causing bacteria. Your skin’s barrier is the outermost layer that shields the skin from outside infection, while keeping hydration locked in. But when the skin barrier is damaged or worn away by friction it can cause a type of acne called “acne mechanica.”
Treating Face Mask Acne
Drug store or over-the-counter medications are rarely strong enough to treat acne. Fortunately, the dermatologists at Goldenberg dermatology in Manhattan offer several effective and affordable treatments that can reverse all types of acne – including acne resulting from coronavirus stress or from wearing face masks.
One of the best, state-of-the-art acne treatments for teens and adults is clinical, prescription strength salicylic acid that is not available online or in stores.
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (versus an alpha hydroxy acid) that is actually “oil soluble” – meaning it can penetrate the sebum-clogged pores of the skin. Once inside the pores, the salicylic acid dissolves the intercellular matter that holds the dead skin cells and debris together.
In addition to unclogging the pores so bacteria cannot grow, salicylic acid also calms breakouts and reduces redness by soothing the irritated skin with its unique anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, salicylic acid decreases the amount of sebum secretion, which helps reduce future acne eruptions.
Laser Treatments for Face Mask Acne
At Goldenberg Dermatology in Manhattan we also offer state-of-the-art Cutera ExcelV Laser that can rapidly treat various types of acne. The laser destroys the bacteria that causes acne (P. Acnes) – while not harming the surrounding skin. This therapy also shrinks enlarged pores, as well as helps smooth and resurface mild acne scars.
In addition to treating acne and acne scaring, the innovative ExcelV laser can also help with the persistent redness and hyperpigmentation that often occurs during or after acne outbreaks.
Comedone Removal for Face Mask Acne
When acne becomes severe it can require a more aggressive treatment regimen. If your acne is characterized by deep cysts, inflammation, or extensive skin damage, we also offer an in-office dermatologic acne surgerical procedure called comedone removal. This consists of surgical extraction of non-inflamed lesions and extraction of milia or tiny white cysts. Large cysts or granulomas may require drainage and extraction.
Face Mask Acne Treatments – Manhattan Dermatologists
In addition to salycilic acid, Cutera ExcelV Laser and comedone removal, our Manhattan dermatologists also offer many other highly effective acne treatment options include topical creams, oral antibiotics, chemical peels, and platelet rich plasma (PRP).
Whether your acne is caused by a face mask or something else, each acne treatment begins with a skin consultation with a dermatologist. He or she will then select the best treatments to meet the specific needs of each teenager or adult’s unique type and cause of acne – with the most innovative and advanced acne treatments and technologies available.
Your face is how the world sees you – and your facial skin is a complex and sensitive organ. Do not trust your acne treatments to anyone but a board-certified dermatologist – like Dr. Goldenberg in Manhattan. Get attractive clear skin – and avoid acne scaring – with our advanced acne intervention procedures.