Face masks have long been a staple beauty regimen for centuries. Their use goes back to the time when Cleopatra went shopping and was introduced to the traditional veil. The mask has held various forms and designs through the ages, sometimes held as a symbol of the head’s power and position in society, and at other times simply used as an adhesive to hold eyelashes in.
A cloth face mask typically is a thin, washable mask designed mainly of natural textiles, most commonly cotton, designed to be worn over the nose and mouth. When wearing these cloths, it is important to ensure that the cloths are completely clean and that there are no blemishes or marks on the surface of the face. Some of these devices may also include exhalation valves. These are devices that allow a person to draw in a breath of air through a small opening on the face mask. These devices are designed for breathing out, rather than expelling a person’s breath through the valve. When wearing these devices, it is crucial to ensure that the valve is always open so that the wearer is able to draw as much air as needed from the air.
There are three main types of fabrics that can be included in a face mask. The first two are commonly referred to as Thermoplastics, which are comprised primarily of synthetic fabrics such as polyester, nylon, or Lycra-reinforced polyester. Materials that fall into this category tend to be inexpensive, lightweight, and breathable. These fabrics are ideal for everyday use.
The next type of face mask material is known as surgical masks, which are composed of synthetic materials that will not allow any release of moisture when the mask is worn. In addition, these materials will also prevent any small particles from being trapped within the materials. In addition to keeping small particles out of the face, some surgical masks will be made with a medical release mechanism that will allow some amount of ventilation to the nose and mouth. The release will allow for bacteria to be released from the nose and mouth, preventing infections from occurring.
A third type of face mask that may be worn in healthcare settings are full face masks. These may be worn to either minimize the chance of a patient to breathe in an organism, or to prevent them from breathing in organisms. Full face masks come in a variety of different styles, but typically consist of thick plastic that has a chin strap attached. These types of face masks have been known to be worn by both children and adults.
While there are many benefits to wearing these types of face masks, healthcare professionals also know that there are disadvantages to loose-fitting, not properly inflated, full face masks. These risks include infection, snagging of the skin, breathing obstruction, swelling, and bruising. These risks are generally transferred to the wearer when the mask is not properly worn.