MASKNE: Mask-Induced Acne Flare During Coronavirus Disease-19. What is it and How to Manage it?


  • Laura Pauline Kosasih Department of Dermatology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom



Acne, MASKNE (Mask Acne), Coronavirus Disease-19


The coronavirus disease (COVID)-19 is a global pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2. Due to the rapid spread of the disease, several measures have been proposed to mitigate its transmission, including wearing a mask in certain circumstances. This new proposition leads to some novel skin adverse effects; one of them is acne flare. This particular outbreak has significantly affected people’s quality of life. In this minireview, a brief current knowledge of SARS-CoV-2 and its related-acne-flare, or popularly called as mask-acne (MASKNE), are discussed. This review aims to provide some information that may be helpful in opting for the most suitable management and treatment for each individual.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Plum Analytics Artifact Widget Block


Du Toit A. Outbreak of a novel coronavirus. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2020;18(3):123. PMid:31988490

World Health Organization. Timeline of WHO’s response to COVID-19. World Health Organ. 2020;(1):1-27.

World Health Organisation. COVID-19 Transmission and Protective Measures. Geneva: World Health Organisation; 2020. Available from: [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 16].

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How to Protect Yourself and Others. Coronavirus Disease; 2019. Available from: [Last accessed on 2020 Aug 16].

Foo CC, Goon AT, Leow YH, Goh CL. Adverse skin reactions to personal protective equipment against severe acute respiratory syndrome a descriptive study in Singapore. Contact Dermatitis. 2006;55(5):291-4. PMid:17026695

Tan KT, Greaves MW. N95 Acne. Int J Dermatol. 2004;43(7):522-3. PMid:15230894

Han C, Shi J, Chen Y, Zhang Z. Increased flare of acne caused by long-time mask wearing during COVID-19 pandemic among general population. Dermatol Ther. 2020;(1):e13704. PMid:32472634

Elisheva R. Adverse effects of prolonged mask use among healthcare professionals during COVID-19. J Infect Dis Epidemiol. 2020;6(3):19810.

Zaenglein AL. Acne vulgaris. N Engl J Med. 2018;379(14):1343-52. PMid:30281982

Ramrakha S, Fergusson DM, Horwood LJ, Dalgard F, Ambler A, Kokaua J, et al. Cumulative mental health consequences of acne: 23-year follow-up in a general population birth cohort study. Br J Dermatol 2016;175:1079-81. PMid:25819106

Rothan HA, Byrareddy SN. The epidemiology and pathogenesis of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. J Autoimmun. 2020;109:102433. PMid:32113704

Li X, Geng M, Peng Y, Meng L, Lu S. Molecular immune pathogenesis and diagnosis of COVID-19. J Pharm Anal. 2020;10(2):102-8. PMid:32282863

Guo YR, Cao QD, Hong ZS, Tan YY, Chen SD, Jin HJ, et al. The origin, transmission and clinical therapies on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak an update on the status. Mil Med Res. 2020;7(1):11.

Li H, Liu SM, Yu XH, Tang SL, Tang CK. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Current status and future perspectives. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2020;55(5):105951. PMid:32234466

Wei LC, Fen LX, Fang JZ. 2019-nCoV transmission through the ocular surface must not be ignored. Lancet. 2020;395(10224):e39. PMid:32035510

Setti L, Passarini F, De Gennaro G, Barbieri P, Perrone MG, Borelli M, et al. Airborne transmission route of covid-19: Why 2 meters/6 feet of inter-personal distance could not be enough. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(8):2932. PMid:32340347

Liu Y, Gayle AA, Wilder-Smith A, Rocklöv J. The reproductive number of COVID-19 is higher compared to SARS coronavirus. J Travel Med. 2020;27(2):taaa021. PMid:32052846

Huang C, Wang Y, Li X, Ren L, Zhao J, Hu Y, et al. Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Lancet 2020;395(10223):497-506.

Chen N, Zhou M, Dong X, Qu J, Gong F, Han Y, et al. Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: A descriptive study. Lancet. 2020;395(10223):507-13. PMid:32007143

Collier CN, Harper JC, Cantrell WC, Wang W, Foster KW, Elewski BE. The prevalence of acne in adults 20 years and older. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008;58(1):56-9. PMid:17945383

Dursun R, Daye M, Durmaz K. Acne and rosacea: What’s new for treatment? Dermatol Ther. 2019;32(5):e13020. PMid:31294907

Harper JC. An update on the pathogenesis and management of acne vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004;51(Suppl 1):S36-8. PMid:15243503

Goldsmith LA, Katz SI, Gilchrest BA, Paller AS, Leffell DJ, Wolff K. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2012. p. 165-7.

Toyoda M, Morohashi M. Pathogenesis of acne. Med Electron Microsc. 2001;34(1):29-40. PMid:11479771

Zuo Y, Hua W, Luo Y, Li L. Skin reactions of N95 masks and medial masks among health-care personnel: A self-report questionnaire survey in China. Contact Dermatitis. 2020;83(2):145-7. PMid:32297349

Narang I, Sardana K, Bajpai R, Garg VK. Seasonal aggravation of acne in summers and the effect of temperature and humidity in a study in a tropical setting. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2019;18(4):1098-104. PMid:30238598

Sardana K, Sharma RC, Sarkar R. Seasonal variation in acne vulgaris myth or reality. J Dermatol. 2002;29(8):484-8. PMid:12227481

Wells JM. Tropical acne--one hundred cases. J R Army Med Corps. 1981;127(1):55-8. PMid:6453225

Gupta MK, Lipner SR. Personal protective equipment recommendations based on COVID-19 route of transmission. J Am Acad Dermatol 2020;83:e45-6. PMid:32330629

Rebmann T, Carrico R, Wang J. Physiologic and other effects and compliance with long-term respirator use among medical intensive care unit nurses. Am J Infect Control. 2013;41(12):1218-23. PMid:23768438

Desai SR, Kovarik C, Brod B, James W, Fitzgerald ME, Preston A, et al. COVID-19 and personal protective equipment: Treatment and prevention of skin conditions related to the occupational use of personal protective equipment. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2020;83(2):675-7. PMid:32416206

Darlenski R, Tsankov N. COVID-19 pandemic and the skin: What should dermatologists know? Clin Dermatol. 2020;(1):4-6.

Chularojanamontri L, Tuchinda P, Kulthanan K, Pongparit K. Moisturizers for acne: What are their constituents? J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014;7(5):36-44. PMid:24847408

Johnson AT. Respirator masks protect health but impact performance: A review. J Biol Eng. 2016;10:4. PMid:26865858

American Academy of Dermatology Association. 9 Ways to Prevent Face Mask Skin Problems. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Available from: https://www. prevent-face-mask-skin-problems. [Last accessed on 2020 Oct 20].

Long H, Zhao H, Chen A, Yao Z, Cheng B, Lu Q. Protecting medical staff from skin injury/disease caused by personal protective equipment during epidemic period of COVID- 19: Experience from China. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2020;34(5):919-21. PMid:32441424




How to Cite

Kosasih LP. MASKNE: Mask-Induced Acne Flare During Coronavirus Disease-19. What is it and How to Manage it?. Open Access Maced J Med Sci [Internet]. 2020 Oct. 21 [cited 2022 Aug. 14];8(T1):411-5. Available from: