Masks prevent the spread of COVID-19, but most people find them a bit uncomfortable.
It's difficult to breathe through, it's itchy, it's bothersome.
But for children, it's worse.
Children have thin and immature skin barriers, rendering them more vulnerable to skin diseases that range from a simple rash to atopic dermatitis or impetigo.
"It hurts because it's tight over here. and it hurts with the string chafing and pressing against the skin."
The rubber string on masks often tugs on the skin behind children's ears, causing pain and itchiness.
Children also often suffer from allergic reactions from the masks' metal wires.
"Children often tell me that they want to take the mask off because the skin behind their ears hurts. I also heard that a girl in another class had skin trouble because of masks."
Children also tend to be more careless when eating food and often have leftover crumbs around their mouths.
Wearing a mask on top of that may cause bacterial infections like folliculitis.
So it's important that children wipe their mouths clean before putting their masks back on.
"If your child is suffering from dermatitis, come to the hospital in its early stages rather than letting it fester. Also, to prevent further skin trouble, moisturizing is key."
Changing the type of mask brand can help if there's skin trouble, since each mask varies in material and chemical composition.
To help prevent skin irritation in general, people should make sure masks are dry and clean and use a slightly acidic cleanser to thoroughly wash their faces.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News