MADISON, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- A top UW Health Dermatologist says she is seeing a rise in an unsightly new skin problem, related to something we are all doing to fight the spread of COVID-19.  

Dr. Apple Bodemer is treating mask acne -- or 'maskne'  in places like below the chin and behind the ears where the elastic cord is irritating the skin.  

She says instead of using rough throw-away surgical face coverings, consider finding soft cotton or silk masks.  She says this can make a big difference. 

"The softer the cloth is, the better it is going to slide across your skin, so these throw away paper masks are much harder on the skin than a  fine silk or woven cotton," Dr. Bodemer said.

She says the other thing to remember, keep your makeup to a minimum.  

"Definitely if you are in and out, and you are gonna be hot and sweaty and there is nowhere for that humidity to go if it is locked in the mask,I would definitely recommend laying off of the makeup for especially the lower part of the face," Dr. Bodermer said.  "It's always a good idea to lay off for a couple of days and if you need to wear makeup for work maybe not wearing makeup on the weekends, so your skin can have a chance to breathe and recover and also the makeup that you do wear is non-comedogenic and you don’t want to be putting on heavy concealer and bronzer on your faces," she added.

As for ‘maskne’ treatments, pull out the face cleansers including the salicylic acid and the low percentage benzoyl peroxide, but beware these methods can act like a bleach and may create white marks on your face coverings.

Dr. Bodemer says launder any reusable cloth masks frequently.  She says she puts her face coverings in the wash for two cycles — the first to sanitize  and the second to remove any excessive detergent.  After that, she suggests you let them air dry.