The times we are experiencing are like no other for most of us. Measures intended to reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been taking unexpected tolls on many people. Many describe going “stir crazy” under quarantine, while others benefited from more time with family and pets and the ability to catch up with neglected chores. One twist in people’s lives is an unavoidableble change in their skin and we’re here to shed light on this quarantine outcome.
The first obvious issue is the effects of wearing a face mask for long periods of time. The results include allergic reactions, skin dryness, abrasions, and rash from mask material friction. While many of these side effects are transient and resolve once the mask is removed, it is wise to consider the materials and fit of a mask you’re wearing on a regular basis.
Stress resulting from prolonged lockdowns, changes in income and employment status, uncertainty of the future, and more has contributed to a myriad of health effects. Healthy skin isn’t immune to the heightened stress of a pandemic, with a surge in acne cases, dry skin, and rash development. One condition that is popping up often, excuse the pun, is an increase in cases of acne or "maskne". Stress-related hormonal changes coupled with skin care neglect may be a factor. Those with chronic skin conditions have all experienced an uptick during current pandemic conditions, especially within the subcategory of stress-responsive skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and chronic pruritus (increased susceptibility to and perception of itchiness occurs due to the connection of the brain messages with the skin, the brain–skin axis). An article published in May of this year addressed the subject of the effects of pandemic stress on chronic skin conditions (1). Our physician, Dr. Yazdani found herself prescribing Post-Traumatic Response Gel more often in the days following lockdowns to combat the surge of skin disorders.
People are required to hand wash and hand sanitize more regularly than ever before, and some take this concept to a whole new level. Be mindful to avoid overuse of harsh soaps or hand sanitizers whose key ingredient is alcohol, a skin drying agent. Exposure to chemicals also occurs with constant cleaning of inanimate surfaces with toxic disinfectants, particularly when gloves are not worn. Therefore, it is essential to sufficiently moisturize the skin to replenish the hydration lost with hand and surface sanitizing. Seaside’s Antioxidant Concentrate will accomplish this task without leaving yet another layer of toxic residue on your hands.
Daily holistic skin care is essential during these times. Using skin cleansing products containing natural ingredients and that promote skin health are key. Use a healthy skin care routine whether going on a date, to work, or staying home. It doesn’t matter if no one will see you, it’s the health of your skin, the body’s protector and largest organ that is important.
Be well, stay healthy. Reach out or leave a comment with your thoughts on the effects of the quarantine or if you have questions on how to stay healthy.
Garcovich S, Bersani FS, Chiricozzi A, De Simone C. Mass quarantine measures in the time of COVID-19 pandemic: psychosocial implications for chronic skin conditions and a call for qualitative studies. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2020;34(7):e293-e294.
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