The question now is not about whether to wear a face mask or not but which one is the best and how to wear one.
With recent researches, the CDC or Centers for Disease Control now advises that everyone should wear cloth face coverings or face masks when going out especially in places where social distancing is difficult to follow. And since wearing face masks is now part of the new normal, it is essential to know which type is the best one that fits your lifestyle.
This is the best option you have if you want the most protection from the virus. It is made especially for medical professionals who are risking their lives to save others. Note that this kind of mask is not recommended to be used all day, unless you are in the medical field.
Surgical Masks (Three-ply paper)
Surgical masks are affordable and disposable. Since they are specifically made for hospital use, they are not that comfortable. These masks are made of paper so they could feel scratchy and itchy against the face. Also, the elastic bands are not comfortable.
Fabric Face Masks
These masks can easily be purchased online and you can even make your own face masks by sewing them. Fabric masks are comfortable because they are soft and breathable. However, this kind of mask require hands-on care since they are not disposables. Make sure to wash your fabric face masks after use.
These masks are made of transparent plastic which covers the whole face. Face shields are probably one of the best options for some because they are more comfortable since they don’t affect one’s breathing.
Possible side effects of using face masks include:
- Skin pigment on the face may change over time.
- Perioral dermatitis that could lead to redness, rashes, and scaling of the skin near the nose area.
- Itchy rashes or contact irritant dermatitis.
- Pimples and acne.
- Sores behind the ears and on the nose.
- Hives that could cause red bumps with a burning sensation.
- Breathlessness especially during the hot and humid weather.
How to prevent these side effects:
- Eat fresh vegetables and fruits.
- Drink lots of water to avoid skin dryness and acne.
- Avoid using face packs or chemicals with harsh ingredients on your face.
- For oily skin, make sure to wash your face more frequently.
- If you use masks often, massage your face using a gentle moisturizer before sleeping.
- Choose face washes and body soaps that can effectively moisturize your skin.
- Regularly wash and moisturize your earlobes.
- Use anti-fungal powder on moist and sweaty areas to prevent fungal infection.
- Make sure to use fitted face masks.
- Avoid constantly touching your face to avoid spreading of germs that could cause skin infection.
- If you are experiencing continued bad side effects, consult a specialist.
Is it required for everybody to wear a face mask?
According to CDC, everyone should wear face masks especially when going out except the following:
- People who have trouble breathing.
- Children under two years old.
- People who are incapacitated, unconscious or cannot remove a face mask on his or her own.
Once you have acquired your face mask, you should know how to wear it properly. Experts recommend the following criteria on how to wear face masks properly:
- It must have comfortable ties or ear loops.
- It must perfectly fit your face but still comfortable to wear.
- The material should be made of multiple layers.
- It should let you breathe with no restriction.
- It must not be easily damaged when washing and drying.
- Wash your hands before putting on your mask and after removing it.
- Continue practicing social distancing.
- Wash your face mask after every use.
- Dispose face masks properly.
Face mask don’ts:
- As much as possible, don’t use medical-grade masks because they are reserved for health care workers, medical responders and frontline workers.
- Don’t just put your face mask down when drinking or eating. Make sure to remove it entirely and wash your hands properly.
- Don’t wear a face mask that was damaged or has not been washed thoroughly.
We are now facing an uncertain future. The virus is still out there and wearing face masks is a small but helpful way not just to avoid infection but also prevent the virus from spreading.
However, it is important to remember that even with your face mask on, you must still take this COVID-19 pandemic seriously. Always practice social distancing and do everything you can to help in flattening the curve.