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21 May 2020

Guidance on Face Coverings for COVID-19

Information includes tips for preventing face coverings from irritating your psoriasis.

As part of the gradual changes in lockdown restrictions, people in England are now being recommended to wear face coverings in a number of enclosed spaces. In particular, face coverings are advised in areas where you come into contact with people that you do not normally meet and where social distancing is not possible, for example on public transport or in some shops. Similar recommendations have also been made by the Northern Ireland Executive and Scottish Government. At the time of writing, the Chief Medical Officer for Wales is not recommending face coverings but is supportive of the public’s right to choose whether or not to wear them.

Why are we being advised to wear a face covering?

While evidence suggests that face coverings will not protect you against COVID-19, they may help protect others if you are infected but do not know it. Please note that face coverings do not replace social distancing and if you have symptoms of COVID-19 your whole household must stay at home.

Children under the age of 2 or individuals who find it difficult to wear face coverings, such as people with breathing difficulties or primary school children who cannot use a covering without help, are not advised to wear them.

Wearing a face covering

A face covering can simply be a scarf or bandana tied behind your head – the most important thing is that it covers your nose and mouth but allows you to breathe comfortably. The government has provided advice on how to wear and make your own face covering, which can be found here.

Face coverings and psoriasis

If you feel that your face covering is irritating your psoriasis, you could try the following:

  • Make sure that the covering is made of a breathable fabric that your skin can tolerate. As with many aspects of psoriasis, this may be a process of trial and error.
  • Whilst the covering needs to be secure, make sure that it is not rubbing or causing injury to the skin as this could trigger psoriasis through Koebner’s phenomenon.
  • Keep your skin clean and well moisturised.
  • Wash the covering after each use with a detergent that doesn’t irritate your skin.
  • Try to take regular breaks from wearing the face covering.

  • For further information and advice on scalp or facial psoriasis, please do get in contact with us.

    Further information about COVID-19 for people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis can be found here.

The Psoriasis Association is the UK's leading national charity and membership organisation for people affected by psoriasis – patients, families, carers and health professionals Read More >

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