Face masks are supposed to provide protection to your face during this COVID-19 outbreak. The medical professionals have been recommending people to have masks on while you step out in a public zone in order to get infected by other people. But this can also cause significant skin damage if the face masks are worn for many others every day.
Skin experts at the University of Huddersfield explains and suggests some remedies to get rid of skin damages caused by the sweat that accumulates inside the mask and the rubbing of the face mask against the nose.
Professor Karen Ousey is the University’s Director of the Institute of Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention and was part of a team that conducted detailed research into the damage that is caused by a wide range of medical devices which also includes face masks.
Professor Ousey said, “The wearers are sweating underneath the masks and this causes friction, leading to pressure damage on the nose and cheeks.”
She even added, “There can be tears to the skin as a result and these can lead to potential infection.” Furthermore she said, “The masks the healthcare professionals are wearing have to be fitted to the face – so if healthcare professionals add dressings to the skin under the mask after being fitted there is a chance the mask will no longer fit correctly.”
Her suggestion for people is to wear masks that keep their skin clean, well-hydrated and moisturized. She even recommends that barrier cream should be applied at least half an hour before you put the mask on.
She says, “And we are suggesting that pressure from the mask is relieved every two hours. So you come away from the patient, relieve the pressure in a safe place and clean the skin again.”
Her advise to members of the general public like shop workers who wear masks to keep their skin clean, free of sweat and dry. And even if after this they feel their masks rubbing, they should take them off as soon as they can, but safely.