While acne breakouts itself is something we all struggle to control, there came another problem – “Maskne”, especially occurring rampantly among us in 2020, because of having to wear face masks over a long period of time.
Adopting good habits such as frequently changing masks, washing our faces regularly and cleanly, and even switching to silk face masks can help curb the ‘maskne’ problems but what about the aftermath – the scars? Many of us have the mindset that acne scars will fade over time and disappear but the actual truth is that these scars remain permanent on our skin.
This article will discuss how we get maskne scars and when is the best time to treat it.
What is Maskne?
Acne mechanica, or also known as ‘maskne’, is the breakout of the skin from the wearing of face masks. Acne is a common skin condition that happens when hair follicles under the skin become blocked with oil, dead skin and bacteria. Wearing a face mask over a long period of time causes our pores to get clogged, allowing oil, sebum and dirt to get trapped easily.
Maskne can cause two kinds of Acne – Non-inflammatory and inflammatory acne.
Whiteheads and blackheads are types of non-inflammatory acne lesions. They are a less severe form of acne. Non-inflammatory blemishes usually do not cause much swelling, redness and are generally not very painful.
Inflammatory acne on the other hand is more severe than non-inflammatory acne, and this type is more likely to cause complications, such as scarring or pitting.
Inflammatory acne on the other hand can cause the following lesions:
Blemishes or lesions that are inflamed, red and swollen are the result of inflammatory acne.
How does Maskne Scars happen?
Scarring is often caused by these 3 factors:
1) Picking on the acne lesions
It can be tempting to pick and squeeze acne lesions, with the mindset that it will clear off faster. However, the chances of extracting the acne with the wrong technique are high and this will further damage the skin tissue and cause more inflammation resulting in depressed scars to form.
2) Lack of proper treatment on acne
It is important to ensure proper acne treatment is administered to avoid worsening of the breakout. Always seek help EARLY from a medical professional and in some cases, medication may be required to control the breakout.
3) Severe inflammatory acne
Inflamed acne lesions can worsen, cause tissue damage and eventually cause scarring, so it’s best to start treating it as soon as possible.
When is the best time to treat acne scars?
- Treating non-inflammatory acne scars
For non-inflammatory acne such as Whiteheads, Blackheads and Clogged pores, treatment need not be as urgent. These lesions are best treated with oral medication for oil/sebum control and medical facials that deep cleanses and manually extract the stubborn lesions that are situated beneath the skin.
This type of acne typically does not cause scarring unless fiddled with.
- Treating inflammatory acne scars
The best time to treat inflammatory acne scars is as soon as possible.
Such depressed scars respond best to treatment when they are “fresh” and treated early.
Treatment will depend on the type of scars you have as different scars respond differently to different treatment modalities. It is best to consult with your doctor so as to determine the type of scars you have and the treatment(s) that you require.
Can I prevent “maskne” scars?
If there are no acne breakouts, there are no scars. Hence, the prevention of “Maskne” is very important.
Switching to Silk Face Masks
Face masks that have a rough texture can cause irritation by the constant rubbing of these masks against the skin. This can damage the skin’s protective barrier and allow oil, dirt and bacteria to get trapped easily. Silk on the other hand is smooth and it does not irritate the skin as much, thus decreasing the risk of clogged pores and acne formation.
Exfoliation and Thorough Daily Face Cleansing
After a whole day of wearing face masks, just imagine the amount of dirt, oil and bacteria that are trapped in our pores. Choosing a good face cleanser helps to successfully remove the dirt and thus keep our faces clean. Cleansers with Salicylic Acid also helps to prevent clogged pores and formation of Acne.
Exfoliating up to twice a week is recommended especially so if your skin gets clogged easily. Do note that excessive exfoliation can cause skin dryness, redness and irritation. Therefore, only do so in moderation.
While the best time to treat acne scars is as soon as possible, it will also depend on your skin condition. Like wise men say, “Prevention is better than cure”, the key takeaway is to prevent the formation of acne right from the start.
At M-Aesthetic Clinic, we understand the concerns and worries you face with Acne Breakouts, Acne Scarring and how it affects your confidence and how others perceive you. We have the full range of laser treatment for acne scar and Acne Scar Removal Treatments that is personalised and customised to your skin type, specifically designed to remove all kinds of Acne Scars