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Skin diseases exacerbated with the use of masks and hydroalcoholic gels

Pretty girl applying moisturizing cream in front of mirror

Dermatitis, acne and rosacea are skin diseases exacerbated with the use of masks and hydroalcoholic gels.

The use of masks, gloves, frequent hand washing and the use of hydroalcoholic gels are resulting in an increase in the development, worsening or superinfection of some skin diseases such as irritative contact dermatitis, mainly in the hands and face, and the worsening of pre-existing diseases such as acne, rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis and atopic dermatitis, says Dr. José Carlos Pascual, a skin specialist at the Dermatology Unit of Quirónsalud Hospital in Torrevieja. These issues are located in two areas; the lower and middle thirds of the face and hands.

Moreover, with the increase in temperature and humidity during summer, these problems are expected to be even more prevalent. (Dr. Pascual)

The symptoms of these skin diseases according to the skin specialist of Quirónsalud Torrevieja can appear as itchy redness, especially in the areas in contact with the mask, this is called irritative dermatitis, and can also lead to the development of acne, especially in adult women.

This acne in adults is marked by the appearance of papules (red pimples) and pustules that are located around the mouth and on the chin, another group of patients especially at risk of having skin complications due to the use of masks are those who have rosacea. This disease is associated with skin that is highly intolerant to any physical aggression, such as cold, heat, sun or cosmetics. (Dr. Pascual)

Dr. Pascual advises an individualized assessment by the specialist for its treatment. These treatments range from moisturising creams, sometimes associated with anti-inflammatory creams with steroids for the treatment of dermatitis, to the use of soaps and topical antibiotics in the case of acne.

How to avoid skin problems caused by masks

Dr. José María Ricart, head of the Dermatology Unit at Quirónsalud Valencia Hospital, advises to follow an intensive skin moisturising plan, especially before leaving home, and to avoid heavy make-up, since wearing a mask for many hours can lead to clogged pores.

This is not the time to try new cosmetics or aggressive cosmetics. We have to use products that we know our skin can tolerate and that make us feel good. (Dr. Ricart)

Skin cleanliness is another very important factor. Dr. Cristina Corredera, a skin specialist at Quirónsalud Valencia, advises cleaning the face with our usual cleanser as a key factor to increase the breathability of our skin, and then moisturise, repair and strengthen our skin.

Active ingredients such as high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid will ensure hydration at different levels, pre and probiotics will help promote natural skin repair and strengthen its defensive system and proteoglycans will enhance water retention in our skin. (Dr. Corredera)

Despite the effects of the mask on our skin, dermatologists at Quirónsalud insist on the use of the mask above all else, as studies confirm that the continued use of the mask considerably reduces the spread and transmission of the virus.

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