Advantages and Disadvantages of Fabric and Polypropylene Face Coverings
A face mask, sometimes called a nasal mask, is a thin membrane, typically of synthetic cloth, worn over either the nose and mouth or on both. Although commonly used for respiratory infections, masks can also help to treat skin conditions such as acne. Some common uses include removing dust and debris from the face, minimizing odors in the home, reducing the chance for allergic reactions in the workplace, and preventing the onset of migraine headaches. For this reason, a nasal mask can be one of the most important home health products purchased.
There are two primary reasons for wearing these covers. First, they provide excellent protection for the wearer. By blocking out any of the irritants and hazards that we come into contact with every day, these are beneficial to the health of our skin and our nose. When wearing them, people will likely be much more comfortable in the house, at work, or while relaxing. When physical distancing isn’t possible, and when inferior nasal-masks are not readily available, cloth face covers can provide an alternative that is equally effective.
Many people find it difficult to wear a face shield due to allergies, hair and scalp irritation, or facial hair growth. There are two solutions to this problem that can be used in the home or office. The first is using an adhesive fabric cover that has been treated with an oil-free solution to provide an excellent barrier against irritants while still allowing the user to breathe freely. The second option is to use microfiber cloths with a pincore-type center that threads through the fabric like a rope. These effectively spread the barrier out while providing a tight seal to prevent airflow.
Both cloth masks and microfiber masks will have similar results. The key difference is the way the two are worn and how the user reacts to them. With cloth masks, it is important to wear the mask as tight as possible to block out as much of the outside air as possible and keep the face in the same temperature as the outside atmosphere. With the cloth mask, if any particles are able to escape and enter the nasal passage, the particles are likely to remain there and cause a reaction that will make the user feel uncomfortable and unwell.
Microfiber masks, on the other hand, allow the wearer to breathe freely while keeping the face sealed and closed. This is achieved by a thin but durable material that allows users to breath easier yet to see better. The advantage here is that it is comfortable to wear as well. Most users also find that they do not notice whether they are wearing a face shield or a microfiber mask until they need to remove it. Both cloth and microfiber face shields allow for adequate air circulation but it is the latter that allows users to breathe easier while still keeping the face sealed. It is this efficiency that makes these masks the most popular.
Another advantage of these face coverings is that they are available in a variety of fabrics. The rope, vinyl, cotton and mesh all make popular choices for hospitals and clinics. They all allow for effective air flow but each has their own advantages and disadvantages. Rope is the most affordable but also offers the best barrier to infection, while vinyl and cotton are better for controlling the temperature inside a room and preventing the production of infectious droplets.