Lately a lot of patients consult about how to treat mask acne. They mostly have visited dermatologists and were prescribed antibiotics and medicinal creams such as Adapalene (Differin) or Benzoyl Peroxide. These topical creams help unclog pores, dry out pimples, kill bacteria and prevent new acne.
Unfortunately, sometimes the derm-meds just doesn’t work and grows into cystic acne. But more serious medicine to deal with that like Isotretinoin(Accutane) may come with quite a few potential side effects. It may dry your lips, nose, skin, and it could cause severe birth defects if taken by pregnant women.
Are there any safe and effective ways to help?
Below are six natural ways I recommend to treat mask acne:
1. Check if you are allergic to the material of your mask. Many of my patients change to cloth mask that is made of cotton have the symptoms disappear or much relieved.
2. Break the “itch-scratch” cycle. I know it’s dry and itchy and there is the temptation to touch and scratch. You may consider a herbal extract spray as instant relief for inflammation and redness. It contains Calendula, Chamomile, Aloe Vera, Borage Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Lavender Essential Oil, Vitamin E and B5 and acts fast for cooling and soothing. More importantly it is all natural and is free of steroids, artificial fragrance, parabens and petrochemical.
3. Use natural Tamanu Oil as alternative to chemical cream. Recent studies found that the oil exhibited high antibacterial and wound-healing activity against bacterial strains involved in acne, including Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) and Propionibacterium granulosum (P. granulosum). It also has great skin regeneration properties to promote cell proliferation and the production of collagen and glycosaminoglycan (GAG) which are important for healing of scars.
4. Apply LED light therapy 15-20 minutes per day. Blue LED light (Wavelength: 476-495nm) is most often used to treat acne. By reducing activity in the sebaceous glands, your skin will produce less of the oil that can plug the follicles leading to acne. Blue light may also kill acne-causing bacteria known as Cutibacterium acne.
5. Drink herbal tea to treat the acne from the root cause. Sometimes the mask is just a trigger. Often my patients have other symptoms related to their menstruation and acne has been a prolonged issue which is just worsened by wearing masks. Herbals like Common Self Heal, Kombu, Chrysanthemum, Dandelion, Honeysuckle are examples that could be used for anti-inflammatory purpose. Get a consultation from a registered Chinese medicine practitioner to customize a formula for you resulting in a pleasant surprise of a healthy and balanced menstruation afterwards.
6. Do facial and body acupuncture to balance the hormonal levels in your system. In Chinse medicine, acne is commonly caused by dampness which lead to the accumulation of fluids under the skin and inner-heat that this is often related to stress and hormonal imbalances that can cause redness and inflammation. Acupuncture helps to resolve the dampness, clear the heat, and nourish the skin cells.