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Heather Hanks
Written by Heather Hanks

Reviewed by Dr Jessica Gunawan on January 4, 2023

How To Get Rid Of Chin Acne For Good

In TCM, having a Heaty body constitution can contribute to chin acne. So can wearing a mask all day. Here's how to clear up your skin for good.

Mask acne min 1 scaled

Chin acne is a pesky side effect of wearing a face mask. Also known as “maskne,” which is short for mask acne, it occurs when you get acne on your chin and surrounding areas covered by a face mask.

The condition can be hard to treat if you have to wear a mask daily. However, there are several things you can do to treat acne and improve your skin’s condition. Read on to learn what causes chin acne and how to treat it.

What Is Chin Acne?

A young woman standing outside wearing a face mask
Wearing a face mask daily can contribute to chin acne.

In 2020, the whole world changed, and a new normal began. Several years ago, people would only wear face masks to protect themselves from air pollution or heavy smoke and debris in the air.

But post-pandemic, face masks became a mandatory item to limit the spread of COVID-19. With that, another issue arose: chin acne.

From January to February 2020, mask-wearing physicians and nurses were asked to fill in an online questionnaire. It included questions about their skin condition. Results revealed that 97% of responders had damaged skin caused by their protective equipment. This data indicates that the prolonged use of face masks has a significantly negative impact on our skin’s health. 

In contrast to its new name, maskne is an old problem. Dermatologists usually refer to it by its medical name, which is acne mechanica. This variant is one of the seven most common types of acne. 

Acne mechanica used to be prevalent among athletes and workers who wear helmets with chin straps. But now, anyone can suffer from this type of acne.

What Causes Chin Acne?

Your mask is not the sole culprit of your maskne problem. It develops due to several reasons: 

Skin irritation 

We wear our masks for many hours a day. On many occasions, the inside of your mask will rub against the skin of your face. When this happens, it can irritate the small hair follicles. Eventually, it can trigger skin inflammation and acne. 


We’re not just talking about hot and humid weather outside during the summer, but also the environment inside the mask.

When you breathe, talk, or sweat, moisture from the nose and mouth will accumulate, making it humid and easier for bacteria to breed and cause acne. 

Wearing the same mask more than once

Residue from cosmetics, sweat stains, skin oils, and dead skin cells can collect inside the mask. This can create clogged pores. Using the same mask repeatedly may cause acne.

Damp-Heat body constitution

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that your body constitution influences your physical state. For example, people with Heaty constitution tend to have, among others, oily skin and, therefore, skin that is prone to acne.

In TCM, Damp-Heat constitution is the pathological basis of acne. Influenced by external factors, Damp-Heat constitution can lead to acne in the three pattern types, including Lung meridian Wind-Heat, Spleen and stomach Damp-Heat, and Phlegm Stasis Congestion and Stagnation. 

A diet high in inflammatory foods

An unhealthy diet can further worsen this skin condition. A diet high in sugar and processed foods, such as potato chips, soda, candy, and white bread, is a recipe for acne on chin.

From TCM’s point of view, greasy foods can induce acne as they can stimulate Heat accumulation in the Spleen and stomach. This process messes up the digestive system and triggers excessive sebum secretion. 

5 Ways To Treat Chin Acne

There are five ways to prevent acne from developing around your chin, cheeks, and nose bridge:

1. Take breaks from wearing your mask 

Every four hours, take off your mask for 15 minutes. It is said that healthcare workers usually do this to give their skin a chance to breathe.

Remember to wash your hands first and take them off in safe spaces (for example, outdoors, alone in a car, or at home). 

2. Make sure your mask fits your face shape

Make sure your mask fits you as a comfortable fit protects you and reduces skin problems. If it is too tight or frequently slides off, it will rub against your face often and irritate the skin.

3. Change your mask regularly

Replace your disposable mask regularly. Doing this can prevent bacteria from coming into contact with your skin and give better protection against COVID-19. 

4. Use gentle and calming skincare products 

A smiling young woman standing over the sink in her bathroom cleansing her face using a gentle cleanser
Using gentle skincare products can reduce inflammation and improve your skin’s condition.

Products with fragrances, too many chemicals such as benzoyl peroxide, sodium lauryl sulfates (SLS), and parabens, aggressive exfoliators, and topical acids can irritate your skin faster. Pick gentle, fragrance-free mild cleansers and moisturizers to eliminate dry skin. 

When it comes to makeup, choose the products labeled as non-comedogenic so they won’t clog your pores. Better yet, if possible, don’t wear makeup underneath your mask.

5. Clean up your diet

Consuming foods containing good fats is good for your overall well-being, including skin health. 

Bird’s nest (Yan Wo) can improve skin health and restore moisture and youthfulness, while pearl powder contains amino acids that stimulate skin cells to produce collagen, promote cellular repair and encourage hydration.

Another supplement to take is snow fungus (Yin’er). It hinders the production of melanin, which can cause melasma, freckles and uneven skin tone. Snow fungus has skin-moisturizing effects and promotes wound healing.

Additionally, TCM cooling foods like mung beans (Lu Dou) and lily bulb decoction (Bai He Gu Jin Tang) can boost the Lungs and relieve inflammation. Tremella peach gum (Tao Jiao) can strengthen the Spleen and hydrate the body. 

6. Acupuncture and moxibustion therapies

TCM also recommends a combination of natural remedies with facial acupuncture and moxibustion to expel extra Heat from the body.

TCM and acupuncture can also find the root cause of your body’s inflammation and Heat, which helps increase the body’s resilience and restore healthy skin quickly. For an accurate prescription of herbal remedies and therapies, seek the advice of a qualified TCM physician.

It might be difficult to avoid maskne on the chin and other parts of the face. However, there are ways to minimize it. Maintain good hygiene, good quality of sleep, eat well, try herbal remedies, and most importantly, be gentle with your skin. 

This is an adaptation of an article that first appeared on the Health123 website.


  1. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2020. Skin damage among health care workers managing coronavirus disease-2019
  2. Yale Medicine. 2020. Maskne: What Is It and How Do You Prevent It? 
  3. American Academy of Dermatology Association. 2020. 9 ways to prevent face mask skin problems. 

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