Skin care in the age of COVID

Skin care in the age of COVID

April 25, 2021

Have more Americans delved into deeper routines than they signed up for pre-COVID?

In terms of skin care routines in the age of COVID, ironically this has varied widely.  Most often I’m finding that my patients are commenting on how little they are doing simply because they have not had the need to wear makeup or feel the obligation to wear sunscreen because they are indoors.  Some have viewed it as an opportunity to give their skin a chance to improve now that it does not have the day to day stress of makeup and other products.  That being said, skin care procedures have certainly become more involved as patients are finding that they are seeking longer term solutions and finally have the down time to consider interventions they could not before.  Botox, Fillers, Lasers, etc. have been more popular than ever before.  I suspect that given the increased screen time, the “long game” of skin care products is less favored over the faster clearer results that procedures can offer.

Do masks alter the way we take care of our faces?

Masks have introduced some new diagnoses while making older ones more prevalent to the list of skin conditions that can impact the face. Maskne is a flaring of breakouts in and around the area of the mask as a result of worsening of acne or rosacea.  Maskitis is a type of inflammation that the skin around the nose and cheese can develop as a result of the friction, heat and humidity that builds up under the mask.  Folliculitis, or infected hair follicles, is the result of bacteria depositing in the skin and hair follicles leading to hair follicle based pustules.  

I think of mask related skin issues in the same category as diaper rashes- the same types of conditions develop as a result of the moisture, bacteria and yeast that gets trapped close to the skin.
If masks have not altered the way you take care of your face, then you need to reconsider a few steps in your routine.  Think antioxidant, antipollution, and zinc or physical barriers for the skin.  I tend to recommend product with niacinamide to work as an anti-inflammatory agent.  Many of my patients are not wearing their sunscreens thinking that the mask is covering their face.  Rethink the sunscreen, especially mineral based sunscreens, as barrier creams to protect the facial skin while the mask is on.

 

Are surgeries up?

Surgeries and skin care procedures have certainly increased significantly.  In the past / pre-covid, the challenge patients faced was finding time in their schedule to dedicate to healing.  Now, time is no longer an issue.


 

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