How to Stop Face Masks/PPE From Irritating Your Skin

Woman putting on a mask How to Stop Face Masks/PPE From Irritating Your Skin

Our “new normal” has provided us with many new challenges to overcome, like wearing face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) that we are not used to. For those new to wearing a face mask or PPE you may find it uncomfortable or that it has caused skin irritation. The dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute can help give you tips to make sure you are staying safe, but doing so in the most comfortable way possible when wearing masks and PPE.

What to Know About Masks and Skin

Benefits of Face Masks and PPE

Combined with everyday preventative measures, face masks and PPE can help protect you and others against COVID-19. They should be worn in public settings and when other social distancing measures cannot take place. Wearing them slows the spread of COVID-19 while protecting yourself and others you may be around. Keep in mind that those under the age of two or with medical complications should not wear face masks or PPE. As this is new to most people, face masks and PPE can be uncomfortable and cause skin irritation. These tips should be followed to help avoid that from happening.

Getting Comfortable in Face Masks and PPE

Face masks and any other PPE worn should not cause you skin irritation. If it does, it could mean that the mask itself is not clean or it’s too tight around your face. It should fit snugly around the sides of your face, but you should still be able to easily breathe. If it is too tight, the fabric can cause skin irritation near your chin and possibly acne. When purchasing a face mask, it is recommended to purchase one that is reusable and washable. This will not only save you some money by being able to reuse the mask but will also keep your skin clean and less irritated. Once you have found the perfect fitting face mask it is important to put it on the correct way.

First, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Next, place the mask or other PPE item over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin. While the face mask is on, do not bring it down under your neck. Also, be sure not to touch the face mask. This could lead to germs transferring from your hands to the mask. Just as important as putting on the mask is how you take it off. Touching the ear loops or ties only, remove the mask, holding it only by the ear loops or ties. After it is off, put it into the washing machine to immediately be washed and cleaned. After it is removed and in the washing machine make sure to wash your hands again with soap and water.

Face masks and PPE should be worn to protect yourself and those around you. The dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute want you to be comfortable in them and encourage you to reach out to us if it is irritating your skin. If you are in Bloomington, Illinois or the surrounding areas, please complete this form to get in touch with us.

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