A surgical face mask, also referred to as a plastic face mask, is an often-used personal protective gear worn by medical professionals during certain medical procedures. In fact, it is one of the most essential pieces of medical equipment that every doctor should have handy at all times. The mask has been around for decades and is still considered a staple part of medical care. It is designed to cover and protect the mouth, nose, eyes, and throat of the wearer. Although the purpose is to prevent infection, the material it is made of is also important in other ways. The face mask must be able to serve several purposes while being both sanitary and functional.
Many of the greatest risks to the health of patients come from tiny particles of bodily fluids and bacteria. These tiny particles are easily airborne and can enter the air stream when not properly sealed against them. The production of these microorganisms is what causes many of the infections and other health problems faced by surgeons and other health care workers. While larger pieces of surgical masks may be more effective at preventing these particles from entering the air, smaller, disposable versions are often better for this purpose.
Face masks have been made from different materials over the years. The most common materials are cloth and latex. Cloth masks are commonly used in hospitals and clinical settings for this very reason. Because the material is absorbent and allows for the easy removal of microorganisms, it does little to prevent infection and is often used to only act as a safety measure. A face mask made of microfiber cloth, on the other hand, can be sterilized easily, allowing the safe transfer of bacteria and other infectious matter.
Medical professionals often use face masks to keep their faces moisturized. Hyaluronic acid facial masks may help prevent the breakdown of the polymer by absorbing and holding up to 10 times its normal level of hyaluronic acid. The increased level of this polymer will bind with and remove water from the skin. This will decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and minimize the appearance of dark circles and bags under the eyes. Less water on the skin may also increase the softness of the skin.
Many healthcare workers and patients choose to wear a face mask during and after a surgical procedure. Since the face is typically covered with clothing, wearing a surgical mask during the recovery phase is usually preferable to wearing a mask outside. Wearing a mask during an open surgery will likely cause discomfort and possible bleeding. It may also block the nose of the wearer. While this is not generally a problem when the patient is wearing a white mask, if the patient is wearing a black mask during surgery, the chances of blood staining the surgical dress are likely to increase.
Face masks may also be worn during cold or flu season to keep the face cool and to reduce the occurrence of infections. Some products are designed to be used after cleansing the face so that the face is naturally covered with moisture. However, it is important to use products that do not contain allergens or irritants. Even though the pores of the skin may be clogged, allergens are rarely located inside the nose or mouth. Therefore, it is not usually necessary to use products that contain allergens to prevent infection.