Beanie hats are cute, fashionable, and cover up a bad hair day. But unfortunately, they can wreak havoc on your skin. Sweat, oil, and friction from your hat can cause you to break out on your forehead and scalp, leaving you with inflamed skin.
What Is Acne Mechanica?
Acne mechanica is a fancy word that refers to any acne caused by friction. This includes heat and pressure applied to the skin. This can be caused by a variety of factors including clothing, scarves, and hats.
When fabric comes into contact with your skin, sweat and oil can become trapped underneath which causes irritation and inflammation.
One of the main contributors of acne formation involves a plugged hair follicle. When dirt, oil, sebum, and dead skin cells get pushed into the hair follicle, it causes a clogged pore, which leads to inflammation and redness.
This inflammation leads to an acne bump. Multiple areas of inflammation lead to more than one acne breakout.
Can Hats Cause Scalp Acne?
Scalp acne can be caused by a number of different things. The health of the scalp depends on your shampoo, hair products, frequency of hair washing, and whether or not you have dandruff or other dry skin issues.
In terms of hats, they can definitely aggravate the skin on the scalp, causing breakouts especially around the hairline. Wearing a hat often can cause dirt, oil, and sweat to build up around the hairline and throughout the scalp. This causes clogged hair follicles which lead to inflammation and a breakout.
Can Hats Cause Folliculitis?
There are many types of chronic inflammatory infections that can affect the scalp and look similar to acne, but are not acne. They are issues with the hair follicles becoming inflamed. This includes superficial pustular folliculitis. This is an inflammatory condition that can cause raised, red bumps on the scalp that resemble acne. Since it is caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, sweat and heat from wearing a hat can cause a breeding ground for this bacteria.
How Do You Prevent Acne From Beanies?
As with all fabrics that come into contact with the skin, it is important to regularly wash your beanie to prevent sweat from being retained in the fabric, which can cause breakouts when worn again.
It is also important to keep in mind the kind of laundry detergent you use. Your skin could be irritated by the detergent you use without you even realizing it. Opt for gentle, natural detergents that are fragrance free. Or, hand wash your beanies using a fragrance free soap/face wash to prevent allergies or irritation from your detergent.
Avoid wearing beanies when it’s hot outside. Hats will soak up sweat and oil, leaving your scalp prone to breakouts and inflammation.
Ensure you have a good skincare routine in place to prevent acne from forming, even if your skin is subject to friction, sweat, and/or oil. Make sure to nourish the skin’s barrier so that it strengthens your skin’s ability to fight against external stressors.
How Long Does Acne Mechanica Last?
Depending on how significant the breakout is and how long the skin was irritated for, the acne caused by acne mechanica can last anywhere from 2 weeks if treated properly or a few months if not treated. This is because acne is caused by an inflammatory reaction. Often, if we leave the infection untreated, it begins to spread to other areas of the face, and causes more damage to the tissues and the skin barrier, which in turn causes more acne flares.
Does Acne Mechanica Go Away?
If you are serious about treating your acne strategically, acne mechanica will improve within a few weeks. Proper treatment can significantly improve/cure the acne within a 6 month period.
You need to develop a specific skincare routine that pertains to your skin. Oftentimes people with acne mechanica have a damaged skin barrier, as their skin cannot fight against small aggressions effectively. Incorporate ingredients that repair the skin barrier to see some improvement in the health of your skin.