How To Avoid Skin Irritation From Face Masks During COVID-19

Here's a step-by-step guide to reducing the chance of mask-induced soreness if you're suffering from pressure sores, rashes, or irritated skin from wearing a face mask for long periods of time, if you're using medical PPE or fabric masks in your everyday routine.


  • Make sure your mask fits properly and that you’re using it correctly, so it gives the best possible protection.
  • Keep skin well-hydrated to boost its resilience as it is being subjected to pressure from the masks; apply unscented emollients regularly at home and throughout the day at work.
  • Apply an anhydrous barrier balm to sore areas at least 30 minutes before putting on your mask.
  • Remove the mask every two hours (away from patients, if you're a healthcare professional), and give your skin time to recover.
  • Keep skin clean with an unscented wash or soap; wash your face gently after removing the mask.
  • Pat your face dry with clean tissues or paper towels - don’t rub!
  • Apply oil-based ointment last thing at night to clean skin, especially on areas subjected to pressure from the mask.
  • If you’re a member of the public, and are not wearing your mask at work, remove it as soon as you safely can.
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