A facial mask, also called a skin cleanser, is a thin plastic mask designed of absorbent textiles, typically cotton, worn around the nose and mouth. Disposable face masks have a number of benefits but are often not preferred due to the inconvenience of clean up, as well as the potential for allergic reaction to certain textiles. However, if physical distancing is impossible and if even more powerful masks aren’t available, cloth face masks may be the next best thing.
One of the most common uses of a face mask involves everyday facial cleansing. Daily cleansers can include everything from ordinary soap and water to specialized antibacterial soaps and astringents. Often these contain abrasives such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which can be irritating to the sensitive skin around the eyes and mouth. A cloth face mask offers a convenient alternative to slinging bottles of antibacterial detergent all over the house. If using an antibacterial soap or cleaning cloth outside of the home, remember to rinse it well first!
Face surgical masks fall into a category between an ordinary face mask and a liquid droplets face mask. Face surgical masks can be used to help repair damaged or broken skin. The most common liquid droplets are used for cosmetic purposes such as tightening loose skin. Face surgical masks may be applied during a variety of cosmetic procedures, including laser skin resurfacing, fat removal, acne treatment, blepharoplasty, filler injections, and liposuction. Surgical masks may also be used for patients suffering from diseases such as diabetes, circulatory problems, or facial paralysis.
Although the benefits of wearing surgical masks are well documented, there are some drawbacks as well. For example, a liquid droplet face mask may feel uncomfortable to wear for some people. Another common complaint about liquid-or semisolid types of surgical face masks is that they leave red splotches on the skin. In a study co-sponsored by the US Public Health Service and the American Medical Association, patients wearing an anti-fungal liquid (Ditropan) reported reduced itching and swelling. While the clinical study was performed in a hospital, the data is not clear whether the same results would be achieved if the liquid was used during regular daily facial cleaning.
In addition, medical practitioners have some concerns about the safety of using cloth-based or semi-fabricated face masks against children. Studies have indicated that too much contact with these types of products may lead to irritation and possibly chronic bacterial infection. In addition, researchers have found that although they reduce dust mites’ access to the skin, droplets do not remove any dust that may be present. This is because dust is contained in tiny liquid droplets, which are easily removed with a cloth or cotton swab.
Finally, consider the level of sweating a patient might experience while wearing the device. Wearing a face mask that is too tight will restrict airway movement and increase airway resistance, decreasing the effectiveness of the device. Similarly, a fabric face mask that is not sufficiently breathable will allow perspiration to enter the fabric and increase the chances of developing a mold or other health-related issue. To solve this problem, healthcare professionals recommend that patients who wear a breathing mask while working with contaminated or small amounts of blood (such as in the case of blood transfusion applications) wear a completely sealed unit that is encased in a resealable plastic protective bag. This type of breathing mask provides the most optimal airtight seal. If a patient already has a breathing mask that is not meeting the recommended comfort level or is not comfortable wearing a breathing mask while certain tasks are performed, a patient may wish to consider a disposable oxygen tank and mask system that are available from several online distributors.