A face mask, also called a facial mask, is a soft plastic mask usually made of common synthetic fabric, such as cotton, worn on the nose and cheeks. Facial masks can be used to diminish acne, soften lines and improve complexion, making the face more youthful. When wearing an anti-aging face mask, it should never be worn during sleep, since the elasticity of the mask can be disrupted by rapid breathing.
Most face masks consist of two components: a nosepiece, which are attached to the upper part of the mask; and exhalation valves, which are worn on either side of the nose. Exhalation valves control the amount of air that the wearer exhales or inhales, either through the nose or mouth. The design of most masks has a channel that runs from the lower part of the face, over the mandible or behind the ear, to the tip or top of the nose. These channels can be closed in order to prevent nosebleeds or the escape of steam. However, if physical distancing is almost impossible, and if other efficient masks aren’t readily available, fabric masks may be worn.
A variety of different materials are used to make a good face mask. Fiberglass, for example, is highly recommended by some dermatologists because of the resistance it offers to heat, its high permeability, and its anti-microbial properties. Fiberglass nosepieces are often very comfortable to wear. They come in a variety of designs and colors, so they can be perfectly adapted to the patient’s skin color and facial shape. These masks should never be worn while swimming, driving or operating machinery, because they may cause inhaling of water droplets into the throat or lungs.
The bacteria that are responsible for causing halitosis, or bad breath, are known as anaerobes. An effective face mask will be one that prevents the escape of volatile and organic compounds (VOCs) produced during normal breathing. Controlling these VOCs, as well as the production of saliva, may be enough to protect people from this potentially harmful group of microorganisms. While many people suffer from occasional halitosis, the long term effects of these VOCs on the oral cavity are serious and could lead to serious health problems.
Some respiratory illnesses may also be contagious. In such cases, there may not be any obvious reason for the presence of the bacteria or virus. To make matters worse, a cure that works in the short term may not work at all in the long term. Therefore, an effective face mask may be required for people who have chronic respiratory illnesses, especially those that involve close physical contact with people. A recent study by the US National Institutes of Health showed that a specific type of bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus causes the majority of serious staph infections in the general public. This bacterium is the same cause of antibiotic resistant Staph infections that can turn fatal in the hands of a medical practitioner.
No matter what the reason, an effective solution to halitosis is always welcome. However, people who wear a face mask while sleeping are at higher risk for developing infections in their mouth or throat. The reason is that these people are not able to properly breathe when their mouths are open. The pressure associated with the movement of the mouth and the open air, combined with decreased airflow through the nose, results in reduced moisture and heat in the mouth. Since warm and moisture are conducive for the growth of oral bacteria, the oral cavity is left susceptible to infection.