U.S. economies will reopen soon but social distancing and mask-wearing measures will continue. That means more people will experience “maskne,” a term used to refer to the type of skin irritation around the face and mouth caused by prolonged mask-wearing.

According to Nava Greenfield, a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in Brooklyn, cases of maskne are expected to rise during the summer, when Americans usually deal with odd tan lines, “sweatstaches,” and pimples. This year’s summer will be more annoying than ever as mask-wearing will cause people to deal with annoying acne they’ve never had before.

“Masks can cause a lot of humidity and sweat,” said Greenfield. “The buildup of that inside the mask is not really great for cleaning out your sweat glands and making sure that things are adequately cleaned. When that moisture is there for a long period of time, it can cause breakouts,” she explained.

Greenfield also said the type of fabric of which the mask is made may also cause severe irritation, even for people who have never had acne issues in the past. “Maskne is totally happening. Anytime there’s a major shift like that, your skin notices and sometimes it reacts negatively,” she said.

The good news, however, is that there are ways to prevent maskne. Greenfield said that while masks are not going to disappear anytime soon, people can adopt some type of skincare routine to help prevent breakouts.

The skin expert advised regular exfoliation, saying it’s a good way to get rid of buildup and allow sweat glands to release contents that may build up under the skin. She also said exfoliation is on top of her list when it comes to skincare routines that may prevent maskne during the pandemic.

Greenfield also recommended the use of an acne face wash, which helps control the bacteria living in sweat glands that may eventually cause inflammation and acne. According to her, products containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid face wash are usually anti-bacterial and can help prevent the development of acne.

“You need to start using more products and really think more about the area around the mouth,” she said. She explained that while acne most commonly develops on the cheeks, forehead and chin, it may now be normal to see it develop around the mouth because of regular mask-wearing.

Coronavirus COVID-19 New York, USA - Mask People line up outside Elmhurst Hospital to get tested due to coronavirus outbreak on March 24, 2020 in Queens, New York City. New York City has about a third of the nation’s confirmed coronavirus cases, making it the center of the outbreak in the United States. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images) Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images