The following article is a part of conference coverage from the 2022 American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting , held live from March 25 through March 29 in Boston, Massachusetts. The team at Dermatology Advisor will be reporting on the latest news and research conducted by leading experts in dermatology. Check back for more from the 2022 AAD Annual Meeting .


Nearly 70% of health care workers reported developing new or exacerbated acne associated with  mask use, termed “maskne,” during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the duration of mask use at work was a risk factor for the development of maskne. The findings were presented at the 2022 American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Annual Meeting, held in March 25 to 29 in Boston, Massachusetts.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to prolonged contact with tight-fitting masks and increased hand hygiene for health care workers,” stated Advika Dani, BS, BA, and colleagues of the Department of Dermatology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. “Dermatitis, acne, and the exacerbation of previous skin conditions have been observed amongst health care workers.”

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For the study, the researchers aimed to assess whether the risk of developing maskne is higher among health care workers with a history of acne and to evaluate potential risk factors for the development of maskne.

They administered a cross-sectional survey to 227 medical students, resident physicians, and nursing students at Johns Hopkins Medicine in February 2021.

Overall, 68. 7% of participants reported that they developed new or exacerbated acne (maskne), and surgical masks and respirators were reported as the most prevalent mask types at work (data not shown).

The researchers identified the duration of mask use at work as a significant risk factor for the development of maskne (P = .04)—but not history of acne or mask type.

“These results suggest that targets for intervention could be improving maskne prevention education amongst health care workers, regardless of their acne history, given continued COVID-19 infection burden in 2021,” concluded the researchers.


Dani A, Eseonu A, Bibee K. Risk factors for the development of acne in healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Presented at: the 2022 American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Annual Meeting; March 25-29, 2022. Poster ID: 34398.

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