The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the perspective of the entire world today. We can no longer imagine going out without wearing masks and carrying sanitizers. And just imagine the state of those frontline COVID warriors and all others who have to step out every day with a face mask on?
Well, the most common complaint is that wearing PPE and masks every day for long hours is damaging their skin.
How is wearing PPE and masks affecting the skin?
Despite being an essential part of life today, many people are worried about the problems of wearing a mask – mostly skin issues. Bacterial and fungal infections have cropped up due to the usage of face masks for long hours.
Face masks are designed differently for different users. While Infrawear masks made of premium fabrics are gentle on the body, medical-grade masks are made very differently. RxMask from Infrawear is made of the finely interwoven fabric of the highest quality which comes with exclusive infrared technology that ensures comfort for all day long even during workouts. However, medical-grade masks, designed ideally for frontline workers, tend to put pressure on the surface which leads to the blockage of hair follicles, and on prolonged use give rise to acne, rashes, and itches.
Tips to take care of the skin
Wearing masks is mandatory of course, and with a meticulous skincare regime, you can keep it healthy too. Here are some tips.
- Follow a regime every day to protect your skin for the entire day. Keep your body hydrated and clean. Don’t use harsh soap on the face because the dermis on the face is very sensitive. Use pH balanced face wash which will remove excess sebum, dirt from your face. Apply moisturizer before putting on the face mask.
- If you have any bruised region on your face, cover it right away. If you don’t cover the wound, it might get infected and cause trouble.
- Always take care of the moisture barrier on your dermis because it keeps the moisture of your face entrapped. You can use any moisturizer that has zinc in it to retain your moisture level.
- Try to avoid make-up as far as practicable because products like foundations or concealers or strobe cream can block the hair follicles where air pollutants will deposit and clog the pores giving rise to pimples and other skin issues.
If you see rashes and breakouts after taking off the face mask use ointments or thick moisturizers that will provide respite from the ugly breakouts almost immediately.
- For regular usage, you can choose products with anti-inflammatory properties. The products must contain wither turmeric or neem or niacinamide or azelaic acid and so on. If you have oily face, you need to be extra careful and use products that can also control oil to restrict the clogging of pores and deposition of dirt on the skin and into the pores. Here it is mention-worthy that if you have open pores, choose proper treatment to close the pores where dirt particles tend to deposit.
- N95 masks and PPE kits along with the protective eyewear exert excessive pressure on the facial skin. It is generally softer and more sensitive than the skin on other parts of the body. This prolonged excess pressure can sometimes cause bruising that gives rise to indentations on it that tend to remain. So, if you want to calm the bruised areas then apply arnica gel overnight on to the bruise to reduce the redness. Arnica helps in healing the open wound and stops any kind of bacterial or fungal infection plus it is great for acne or any other kind of
- Wearing a face mask for long hours can be tough so to make things easy you can use soft silicone tape just underneath the mask in order to prevent as well as treat any sort of injury or bruising. Well, at the same time you must be careful about the mask seal. Protect your malar region as much as possible for that you can use band-aids which will provide a cushioning effect. Before applying these, make sure that the skin is absolutely clean, dry, and dirt-free because if dirt chokes the pores, you will see an excessive amount of blackheads appearing along with ugly breakouts. Apply some pH balanced toner on cotton and dab it on your face to ensure proper cleaning. Never apply these materials on the oily face or after applying the cream.
- Our facial skin is soft and sensitive. The pressure injuries make it more tender, so you must be incredibly careful while exfoliating your skin. Do not be too harsh when you exfoliate, as it can give rise to microtears which might later pose a threat to your dermis.
- Before going to bed make it a point to remove makeup or sunscreen and clean your face nicely. If need to be, take steam therapy which opens up your pores and cleans any kind of buildup. Steam therapy for face is an amazing way to soften blackheads making it extremely easy to remove them. Furthermore, steam therapy promotes healthy blood circulation because the blood vessels get dilated and make your skin glowing and rosy naturally. After the steam, therapy washes the face with cold water to close the pores.
- Working as a frontline warrior is not easy; to stay fit and maintain healthy skin you need to eat healthily. A balanced diet is necessary, so avoid binging on pastries, fried items, candies, and fast food. These food items increase the glycemic index in the body which gives rise to pimples and other skin issues. The bottom line is to eat healthily and drink a lot of water for healthy, soft, and glowing skin even during these tough times.
Front line warriors like you are fighting so hard, and we feel so proud. This is a small effort on our part to help you maintain a healthy skincare regime, hope you find this useful and effective.