The Ugly Face of Face Masks

DOI: 10.2478/jim-2020-0034


Introduction: Prolonged and tightly use of face masks has been identified as cause for skin damage during the COVID-19 pandemic. Case series presentation: We evaluated patients seen in the outpatient clinic between March and May 2020, during the lockdown period, focusing on skin damage related to the use of face masks. We aimed to highlight the major impact of routine usage of face masks on the skin of individuals of different ages and professions. Contact dermatitis was prevalent, but we also recorded many cases of outbreak of seborrheic dermatitis, acne, rosacea, perioral dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, folliculitis, as well as neurotic excoriations caused by anxiety, tinea, and impetigo. We also observed a delay in the diagnosis of benign and malignant tumors. Conclusions: The most important step should be the recognition of skin damage, sometimes covered by a face mask. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So take off the face mask, and look at the skin!