You clearly aren’t living on another planet, so you have heard the ongoing discussion and messaging surrounding the importance of wearing a mask. It is absolutely essential to properly wear a mask over your mouth and nose when in public or around people with whom you do not live. It’s important because it helps greatly in protecting those around you and stopping the spread of COVID-19, which has taken the lives of over 265,000 people in the U.S. to date.
As the U.S. approaches winter and the virus surges in many areas, the added pressure that the seasonal flu will put on the health care system makes it even more important that we each do our part to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and of course, we all need to get our flu shots as soon as possible.
All that said, people who experience psoriasis symptoms on the face could be understandably concerned about the impact of the mask itself on the skin, particularly the nose, ears and areas where the mask touches the face. It is still absolutely essential to wear a mask in the appropriate circumstances, so what can you do to mitigate the negative effects on the sensitive skin of your face?
"COVID-19 has changed our lives in ways large and small. One of the few certainties is that wearing masks, practicing social distancing and frequent hand washing can save lives,” says Dr. Jose Scher, M.D., associate professor in the department of medicine at New York University Grossman School of Medicine and a member of NPF’s scientific advisory committee. “As we follow these simple steps, many people living with psoriasis have encountered some challenges with skin irritation and at times flares. We recommend a few simple steps, including finding soft masks, moisturizing the face daily and taking regular and safe breaks throughout the day. Certainly, people should consult their dermatologist if a flare occurs so the treatment plan can be adjusted."