Face masks have been a part of medical and cosmetic practice for centuries. From the earliest times, face and scalp were often covered with animal hides or plant fibers. Today, face masks serve a variety of purposes including cleansing, detoxification, pain relief, allergy management, and facial rejuvenation. Most masks today come in a wide variety of materials and styles. Face masks can be made from synthetic or natural materials depending on the purpose. Some face masks are even used for meditation.
DescriptionA typical cloth face mask consists of a fabric, usually animal hair, that is tied to the face with Velcro or other straps. This Velcro-like strap is often used for skin tone control. When face covering is required, it is typically made from a tight weave of soft textiles that feel similar to cotton. Cloth is easy to clean and can be washed multiple times. When physical distancing is not possible and when other face masks are not readily available, cloth face masks remain the most popular method of facial coverage.
Cleaning instructions A good cloth face mask should always be placed on clean skin before being cleaned. Face masks should never be placed on moist skin as they can soak into the skin. Face masks should not be put on by water, as the mask will quickly turn into a slimy green mass. Face masks should never be put on by hands, as the design of the loop makes it easy to grasp the mask without damaging the Velcro. If hands are used to put on the mask, it is important to wash the hands thoroughly afterwards to avoid spreading bacteria.
Types of masks Many different types of masks exist to meet the needs of patients with various skin types and reactions to ingredients. Common allergy-free and hypoallergenic surgical masks are composed of 100 percent natural or synthetic plastic materials and come in a variety of colors. Patients with sensitive skin should choose hypoallergenic surgical masks, which have smaller pieces of plastic that do not allow large surface areas of the skin to touch. Patients with extremely dry skin should use a specialized mask designed to hydrate the skin while keeping it supple.
Velcro closures and hook closures are common characteristics of commercially made Face Mask products. However, there are some newer generation masks that incorporate “click-systems”, where users insert a thumb-sized plastic button into the hole in the mask. The button releases a Velcro strap that closes the mouth section of the mask. This type of closure keeps particles from being inhaled by the patient and prevents the closure from coming open during facial cleaning. While this design is more complicated than the hook and loop closures seen previously, it is easier to use for patients who are unable to pull the mask shut with their fingers.
Benefits of Face Masks Medical staff are typically exposed to very poor air quality in medical facilities. For this reason, they must protect their faces from infection by using disposable medical masks. A new generation of disposable face protection is available which provides excellent protection against irritants and infectious agents. Disposable face masks made from a strong nylon fabric to protect the face from dust, airborne viruses, bacteria, fungi and airborne parasites. While disposable face masks may seem expensive, they are often less costly than the real thing. Additionally, medical staff can purchase an additional face shield for each patient at the same time, saving money on disposable supplies.