Face Masks can aggravate your rosacea

Written by on December 16, 2020 in in the news, Rosacea Fact Sheets, Rosacea Symptoms with 5 Comments
woman in white face mask

Unsurprisingly a documented case of a health worker with an aggravated incidence of rosacea due to the continued use of personal protective equipment has been published. For many rosacea sufferers around the world that are required to wear PPE for work purposes this may be a real issue. Indeed in many countries a face mask is required by anyone venturing outside their home.

There was no magic bullet discovered in this case study, rather just the opportunity for health professionals to be aware of the possibility of aggravating rosacea symptoms because of work mandated safety equipment. Some rosacea sufferers may even not be able to work in the health field due to the requirement to wear aggravating coverings for extended periods.

Perhaps you have some tips about how rosacea sufferers can endure PPE? How do you reduce your reactions to having to wear a covering? Let us know below.

Article Extract

Flare-up of Rosacea due to Face Mask in Healthcare Workers During COVID-19 [PDF]

January 2020, MAEDICA – a Journal of Clinical Medicine, 15(3):416-417

Masks (medical masks, respirators like N95 and cloth masks) are
mandatory for healthcare workers in order to prevent spread of
infectious droplets in between persons by cough or sneeze. Wearing a mask for hours could cause exacerbation of rosacea, a skin disorder recently reported in nurses working in COVID Units


The present case highlights the idea of an occupational rosacea due to protective measures during COVID-19 pandemic, which may be job
threatening because its peculiar clinical features (pustular rosacea).

Related Articles

About the Author

About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

Follow Rosacea Support

Subscribe via RSS Feed

5 Reader Comments

  1. maryeladd says:

    I can relate to the attention from others during flare-ups, it just makes me more conscious of it and more uncomfortable. I’ve never missed work because of my rosacea.

    Late April I was wearing a surgical mask which had to be adjusted all the time. It was uncomfortable and scratchy.

    I started working at home for my full-time job. Then I was put on furlough for several months until currently being unemployed. Doing interviews makes me flare-up a lot and throw in anxiety. I am not in a hurry to look for work.

    Through the pandemic I continued to work my part-time cleaning job which is physically demanding. I wear a mask and gloves. Since I have been wearing a cotton mask this is much more comfortable.

    The important thing is to clean. I use a gentle cleanser before and after work. Don’t forget the sunscreen. I grab a clean cotton mask to go (at work always carry spares to switch to and throw dirty in laundry). I have hand sanitizer in pocket to use.

    I have also started using an ice roller. This is a great device to cool skin. It can be carried along with you and stored in freezer at work when you flare, use while on a break away from others. You may want to pat skin with a clean tissue before replacing your mask. Mask loses affect once wet.

    I have also started a blog, All About Our Skin, with postings on my rosacea. This is keeping me busy.

  2. Comment via email from Judy.

    “I’m an NP in ED, masks have markedly exacerbated my rosacea, have had to take doxycycline, pustules controlled on 50 mg BID, burning and erythema still an issue”

  3. email comment from Jan.

    “I am a Crna and I have worked in operating rooms for 34+ years. I feel that your article is very misleading. I have not had any problem due to a mask. Maybe you shouldn’t write about one person without doing more research on subject. It is very misleading.”

  4. email comment from Anne.

    “Thank you for your interest in irritated facial skin after many hours of wearing a face mask.

    I had been wearing a face mask in March, April, May, June, July, August… for

    Many months….

    I think my institution switched to a different kind of material for the mask

    Now… I do have redness on my face from the mask.

    The lining inside the mask is rough and hairy like sand paper.

    The dermatologist prescribed a steroid cream….

    Any dermatologist would know it.

    Even Cort-Aid….

    My question is….

    What about putting a cream covering inside the mask….

    Smoothing cream into the lining of the mask before you put it on your f ace.

    Just a thought.


    A senior health care worker.”

  5. Barbara says:

    My dermatologist prescribed a barrier cream. My insurance would not allow it d/t a top tier cost and internal occupational health told me to cut up my pillow cases for cloth liners or have your dermatologist wrrite a prescription for a hooded respirator. So frustrating.

Leave your comment here


Subscribe to Rosacea News

Enter your email address to receive the latest news about rosacea in your inbox.