How to handle common mask problems
Masks are now part of our everyday lives. While we understand why they’re important, they can also be uncomfortable and annoying. Sangita Dash, MD, shared advice to help with common mask problems.
How do you prevent masking fatigue?
Wearing a mask for long periods of time can be exhausting, but there are ways to make it easier.
- Breathe through your nose. When wearing a mask, it can help to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth.
- Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water when you can. Being hydrated can help you feel better overall, help hydrate your skin and help prevent headaches that may be caused by wearing a mask all day.
- Remember why you are wearing it. Consider who you are protecting by wearing your mask – yourself and others. Remembering your why can help you push through those tough moments.
- Talk about your struggles. If you are struggling with mask fatigue, talk about it. You aren’t alone and sometimes hearing that others feel the same way can help you feel better. Others may also have tips they can share to help with your fatigue.
- Take breaks. Go outside, socially distanced from others, and take a breather. Remove your mask and enjoy some fresh air whenever you can.
- Ensure your mask fits correctly. It is not only important that your mask fits correctly for it to work properly, but a proper fit will also be easier to manage during your day.
- Keep a spare mask handy. Masks can become wet with use, and a wet mask is harder to breathe through. If your cloth mask becomes wet, put it in a sealed plastic bag until you can wash it.
How do you prevent mask acne (“maskne”)?
Mask acne is acne that appears around where your mask is worn. Because masks are being worn frequently and for long periods of time, the skin around and under the mask can get irritated and dry. Dr. Dash offered these tips to help prevent mask acne.
- Wash your face. Remember to wash your face. Use a gentle cleanser to wash away any dirt or oil from your skin. This can be done before and after you wear your mask. It is important to have a clean face before putting your mask on.
- Use moisturizer. Putting on a gentle moisturizer will help keep your skin hydrated. It can also act as a barrier between your skin and your mask.
- Avoid wearing makeup under your mask. Wearing makeup under your mask is only going to clog your pores even more and add to any irritation you may be experiencing.
- Wash or switch out your mask often. If you are wearing a mask for the majority of your day, washing it after that day or switching to a different mask for the next day is the best option. If you are only wearing it for a short amount of time each day, you will want to wash it or switch it out after a couple of days.
When using products to wash and moisturize your face, it may take some trial and error to find the right one for your skin.
How do you stop your glasses from fogging when wearing a mask?
If you wear glasses, find a mask that fits closely over your nose or has a nose wire to prevent your warm breath from hitting your glasses. You might also consider using an antifogging spray that is made for eyeglasses.
Despite these challenges, keep following precautions
“We need to continue to wear masks, social distance and practice good hand hygiene. These practices, along with a vaccine, is what will help us see an end to this pandemic,” said Dr. Dash.
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