Face masks, also called facial masks, are therapeutic for several reasons. They are often used to reduce pain or swelling, increase respiration, or eliminate mucus from the nose. A face mask can even help to improve a patient’s mood by reducing facial tension and stress. A face mask has several components, including a cloth head piece, the mask itself, and a specially designed face absorbent pad. Below are some common misconceptions about face masks and how to use them effectively.
Face masks can be worn to treat specific conditions. For example, there are face masks that are used to treat nosebleeds and block the airway; there are steam mists that are applied to the nose and throat, and there are moistened cotton strips that are placed in the nose and inside the mouth. While these may seem simple, the combination of a cloth head piece, which cover the face, and a disposable moistened cotton pad (which hold the moisture) makes this therapy complex and requires practice to get the results desired. Likewise, when more than one treatment is needed, it is essential to sterilize each piece by washing and drying in hot water.
Face masks help prevent infection. Many infections are caused by viruses and bacteria. Some are caused by fungus and mold, which both spread through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids and can be spread by sharing personal items. Face masks help prevent entry of these potentially harmful organisms into the patient’s body. Moreover, many of these infections are contagious and spread through the exchange of bodily secretions.
Face masks are uncomfortable. Some people are allergic to fabric materials, which make using cloth masks inconvenient. Some people suffer from skin irritation or “redness” after application. Additionally, the design of some cloth masks restricts the flow of air at the face level, which increases the warmth in the patient’s face and decreases comfort.
There are risks involved in using a face mask. A swab test from a suspected case of hepatitis virus in the general public was conducted recently. According to the results of the test, three of the sample persons tested positive for hepatitis B virus and two out of the four tested positive for the West Nile virus. There are serious concerns about the general public’s safety when faced with potentially pandemic pathogens.
There is no evidence that face masks to reduce the risk of infection or disease transmission from hands or other exposed surfaces. The Food and Drug Administration has not taken a position on whether or not they should ban face masks. Currently, the FDA does not regulate cosmetics. However, there are laws currently in place that require manufacturers to list the manufacturing ingredients in their products. If the manufacturers fail to comply, they could be held liable for any contamination that occurs in the product’s distribution or handling.