Maskne: Exacerbation or Eruption of Acne During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Tamar A Gomolin
Abigail Cline
Marian Russo


COVID-19, Acne Vulgaris, Acne Mechanica, Folliculitis Mechanica


Although the COVID-19 outbreak has decreased dermatology outpatient clinic visits, acne remains the most common condition among patients requesting an appointment. The widespread use of face masks may be a contributing factor to acne mechanica and folliculitis mechanica, where stopping the mechanical insult is essential to treatment. However, COVID-19 poses a unique challenge as mask wearing is crucial to limiting viral exposure. Although reported cases of mask-associated facial dermatoses are largely documented in healthcare workers, the general population is being affected by “maskne”. Pathogenesis and treatment options are discussed and the importance of counseling patients on proper skin hygiene is highlighted. As mask use increases, dermatologists should anticipate this trend in acne flare-ups.


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