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Managing Eczema Caused By Face Masks

The UK government has made it mandatory for all people over the age of 11 to wear a face mask inside as part of it’s response to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  This includes public transport, shops, museums and hair salons.

While many people have adapted to the new regulations in order to protect us, and those around us, if you suffer with eczema spots on your neck or face, wearing a mask may be especially uncomfortable.

So how can you improve the comfort of your mask, while protecting your eczema patches?

Avoid the ears

As facemasks loop behind your ears, if you have eczema behind your ears this can feel very sore and cause further inflammation.

To avoid this, try purchasing a facemask hook. These sit at the back of your head for you to loop your mask around. This will keep your face protected but avoid your ears.


Choosing the right fabric is important for a face covering, as it should be of a standard to protect yourself and others, but still allow your skin to breathe, especially if you have eczema.

Find a mask made from 100% cotton, as cotton is soft and breathable, as opposed to synthetic materials such as polyester.

Emerging evidence suggests that the risk of COVID-19 transmission may be reduced by using thicker fabrics or multiple layers[1], so ensuring the fabric meets these requirements but is  breathable is essential to ensure comfort for your skin.

You could also try sewing a button on either side of a headband to loop your face mask around, again avoiding your ears.

Cleaning Your Face Mask

The government explains that you should wash your face coverings regularly to ensure they are clean. However, some washing detergents can trigger eczema flare-ups.

With this in mind, be sure to use a non-biological washing powder or liquid when washing your facemasks. Non-bio does not contain the same enzymes as bio washing products, making it generally gentler to sensitive skin.

There are also many fragrance-free and hypoallergenic washing powders in supermarkets, which may suit your sensitive skin, so be sure to find one that suits you.


Be sure to keep a suitable eczema face cream in your bag, such as Cetraben Cream 50ml, which you can apply throughout the day to ensure your skin in hydrated on your face, neck and behind the ears.

Our number one selling product in the range, Cetraben Cream helps repair the skin barrier by locking in moisture, protecting your skin against irritants and water loss.

This can also be used around the eye area if you have eczema under your eye, but be sure to be careful when applying cream around the eye area.

If you moisturise your face throughout the day, be sure to wash your hands with water and soap before and after application.

It may also be preferable to keep a spare facemask on your person if your mask becomes damp with moisturiser throughout the day, to prevent friction.

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