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Maskne is the name of a specific form of acne resulting from wearing masks. "Acne mechanica" encompasses all forms of acne that result from rubbing, touching or pressure applied to the skin from anything touching the skin including fingers, forehead bands, wiping away sweat, bangs and of course, masks. For many people, both without a history of acne and established acne patients, maskne is a direct result of wearing masks. When combined with sweat or any source of moisture, like the moisture from your breath, for example, maskne can develop faster and more severely. While some acne sufferers can control maskne with their regular acne skincare routine, many people are now struggling to manage these new mask-induced breakouts.

According to Dr. Schultz, maskne is "caused by the constant friction/rubbing that is happening between your skin and the mask. Your mask, for many hours a day, is rubbing against your face and trapping and embedding oil, dirt,dead cells and makeup." Since most people wear masks for several hours a day while they are at work or in public, their skin is now subjected to a moist environment from their trapped breath in addition to the irritation of friction or rubbing. Together, these factors drive the development of maskne. In general, acne is caused by a combination of three factors: excess oils, dead skin cells, and bacteria. However, another factor that causes acne is anything that touches your face. Even though we aren't touching our faces while wearing a mask, the mask itself is continuously rubbing against your skin while trapping in moisture. Dr. Schultz further explains that patients can better understand what's causing their maskne by closely examining their mask after wearing it for 10 or 20 minutes. "See some makeup on the inside of your mask? See hues of tan or gray, just like the discoloration on your toner/astringent pad you use after you wash your face?" he says. "That's oil and dirt that you just removed from your skin. Can you imagine taking that soiled pad and then rubbing all the gunk back onto your skin? Well, that's what your mask is doing. That's really adding fuel to the fire that's causing breakouts."

While some irritation from wearing a mask may be difficult to avoid, there are several ways to prevent and control maskne. Depending on your specific situation and skin type, you may benefit from the following to help prevent maskne from developing:

  • Achieve Proper Oil and Water Balance
  • Oral Medications
  • Exfoliation
  • Cleansing and Toning the skin
  • Using Less makeup
  • Frequently Cleaning or changing the Mask
  • Avoid touching the skin as much as possible
  • Reduce stress

If you are struggling with maskne, make sure you are working with an expert to help restore your skin and manage breakouts. Scheduling an appointment with Dr. Schultz in his Upper East Side office to treat maskne will give you the best opportunity to give your skin the care it needs to eliminate maskne. Some of the most effective ways to treat maskne include cleansing, toning, exfoliating, moisturizing, and spot-treating as needed. A combination of at-home treatments and in-office services may be needed to repair your skin from the effects of maskne.

At Park Avenue Skin Care in the Upper East Side, Dr. Schultz and the team are dedicated to helping our patients through expert care and top-of-the-line services. Getting control over maskne to get back the skin you want will take careful consideration and treatment. Dr. Schultz will take the time to examine your skin, determine which treatments would be best for you and personalize your advice to eliminate your maskne promptly. Want to learn more about maskne? Read Dr. Schultz's guide.

As with more well-known types of acne, treatment will vary from person to person. Depending on the severity of your maskne, your skin type, and even your profession, Dr. Schultz will recommend the best treatment for you. When you come into your appointment, you'll discuss with our team what's going on and we'll devise a customized plan based on your needs that may involve topical treatments, oral treatments, or a combination of both.

Patient Reviews

I've been seeing Dr. Schultz for the last 8 years and during that time, I've recommended him to countless friends for both cosmetic and medical dermatologic help. I trust him completely both diagnostically and aesthetically. When I had shingles, he was wonderful, incredibly supportive and kind. And when I eased into doing more cosmetic dermatology, he was– and continues to be– patient, careful and cautious. He listens to concerns and really hears what your goal outcome is and works with you to make it happen. I wanted to maintain a natural look while keeping my skin looking fresh and that's just what he's done for me. I always leave his office feeling prettier and well-cared for! If you have a medical concern or something about your skin you want to upgrade, you can't do better than Dr. Schultz and his wonderful team. And the products are amazing as well!

- Laura B.

Dr. Schultz is the most thorough and good natured dermatologist I have ever seen. I have been a patient of his for more than 20 years. He has taught me everything I know about the value of taking care of my skin, a gift that keeps on giving. He also takes the time to listen to me, to see me as an individual and doesn't treat my needs as a one size fits all doctor. I really appreciate his kindness, patience and expertise. I absolutely love his product line and have definitely reaped the rewards from using it, especially his glycolic peel pads and moisturizer, which I can't live without. My skin feels softer, smoother, appears more translucent and actually looks younger! Dr. Schultz helped me to see beyond the lines and wrinkles, although he so good at helping to keep those at bay while maintaining a very natural appearance. His staff is outstanding. They make you feel welcome, like family, from the moment you walk through the door. Angela, Monika, Deborah and all of the support staff are extraordinary at what they do. Thank you Dr. Schultz and everyone at Park Ave Skincare. You're the best!

- Laura M.

Dr. Schultz has truly transformed my skin, so much so that I can confidently leave the house without wearing makeup now. During my first meeting with Dr. Schultz, he intently listened to my skin concerns, we discussed what my goals were, and he explained pragmatically what treatments and products he recommended for me. I truly appreciate his fantastic bedside manner and conservative approach. I am a perfectionist in every aspect of my life, including my skin, and Dr. Schultz understood this and was committed to helping me achieve every skin goal I had. The entire staff is just so fantastic and friendly, from reception to the PAs. They make you feel welcome and extremely comfortable, which to me is very important when visiting any doctor’s office. As someone who works too much and never gets enough sleep, my skin was looking very dull and lifeless. My skin is now full of life again and has an incredible glow to it which I have never had before. And I owe it all to the incredible Dr. Schultz.

- Kelly D.

My partnership with Dr Schultz began more than 30 years ago. As a generous friend, advisor, skilled surgeon, and superb cosmetic diagnostician, he has enabled me to look my best. He has kept me abreast of the most sophisticated procedures and in so doing, has maximized my appearance, always guided by what will be most beneficial for me. He is someone I go to for advice and care and his staff is another manifestation of this care. I don’t know many patients who can say this, and I feel fortunate to be among them.

- Ellen R.

In the four years that I've been a patient of Dr. Schultz, my acne-prone skin has gone from constant breakouts to smooth and clear. These days, I feel confident and comfortable enough in my skin to wear minimal makeup, if any—which I never would have done in years past. Dr. Schultz and his warm, friendly staff always go above and beyond; he takes the time to listen, talk with me, and create the best plan for my skin. It's clear he has my best interests in mind, and I trust him wholeheartedly. I would highly recommend him to friends, family, and frankly, anyone who asks.

- Deanna P.

Each session with Dr. Schultz is a mini education in skin care. He approaches each patient as a unique individual with different needs. I’m Asian and he’s explained to me how that impacts treatment in a clear manner that a layperson can understand. At each examination, Dr. Schultz recites detailed notes to his staff which he then refers back to at each future appointment, adjusting and tweaking treatment plans when necessary. Over the past two years I’ve seen a remarkable improvement in my blemishes and overall complexion and wholeheartedly recommend Dr. Schultz to anyone looking to enhance their appearance.

- Sherry G.

I have been a patient of Dr. Schultz for many years, and I continue to be amazed at his medical approach, patience, and professionalism. He takes the time to listen to my health concerns, explains how and why he would like to issue a treatment in a way that I understand , answers all of my questions, and all of his procedures and painless and thorough. Dr. Schultz is very attentive, results-oriented, and extremely knowledgeable. He follows up and is committed to my health and satisfaction. The Park Avenue Skincare is a calm environment and the staff are all very friendly, warm, and respectful. It's easy to get appointments at a time that works for me and they are always on time and considerate. I think so highly of Dr. Schultz and his practice that I sent my mom to him, and continue to go to his office even though my life is based in midtown west! I have great confidence in the care that Dr. Schultz gives.

- Katrina A.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How Do I Avoid Maskne If I Need to Wear a Mask for Work Every Day?

    People whose professions require that they wear masks for an extended time Read More

  • Why Does My Mask Cause Breakouts?

    Maskne is a type of acne known as acne mechanica, which is Read More

  • Can I Prevent Maskne at Home?

    Yes, some at-home treatments can help you prevent maskne. Depending on your Read More

  • How Come I Have Maskne When I Don't Have Other Acne?

    Even if you haven't experienced acne before, a mask could cause breakouts Read More

Rejuvenate Your Skin

Make your skin care a priority with leading-dermatologist and New York Magazine’s “Top Doctor”: Dr. Neal Schultz.