A surgical face mask, also called a facial mask, is designed to be worn by medical practitioners during various healthcare procedures. Surgical masks designed for this purpose are meant to prevent infection in surgical staff and preventing direct contact with patients by capturing bacteria released in nasal drops and liquid droplets. It is also used during skin tests and also to protect the eyes of the surgeon from contamination.
Surgeons performing face mask procedures have the added responsibility of instructing their staff on its proper use. They should also make sure that their staff wearing such masks practice personal hygiene. After all, putting on a surgical mask while operating on your face can transfer bacteria to your system from the environment. Proper disposal after each procedure is very important.
The most common reasons for wearing face masks during surgery involve the avoidance of nasal congestion brought about by mucus build-up, allergic reactions to dust, cockroaches, or other airborne irritants. In some cases, exposure to these substances may lead to serious complications. Other than that, the results of using disposable masks made of plastic materials can be less reliable. As a result of the aforementioned problems, physicians frequently replace them with new ones after every procedure. However, studies indicate that using a disposable gear that can be reused is more advantageous than using one that will have to be replaced soon.
Wearing a surgical mask composed of a cloth material is quite inconvenient. First of all, the individual cannot easily clean the mask by wiping it off with a cloth or paper-towel. Second, using such a mask inside the house poses environmental hazards such as leakage of hydrogen sulfide gas, allergic reactions to dust particles, etc. Moreover, a person who wears a cloth face mask while operating on his or her face will have difficulties breathing due to air bubbles that might be left behind after the procedure.
A better alternative to disposable face masks is the use of reusable disposable or adjustable surgical face masks. These are commonly used by plastic surgeons during face lifts and other procedures since they do not produce any inconveniences for the wearer. Unlike disposable masks, an adjustable mask is crafted with contours that make it ideal for different facial structures. Therefore, it can be adjusted as per the facial structure of the patient.
Aside from health concerns, one of the major disadvantages of wearing these face masks is social distancing. Since these masks cover the nose and mouth area, a person who wears one will have to maintain an air of mystery and anonymity if he or she wants to stay in a group or function. Face masks also affect the emotional well-being of the wearer, since most people feel uncomfortable staring into the mask of the person beside them. Some individuals feel that wearing a mask diminishes their own personal beauty since they cannot display their natural facial characteristics. For most people, however, the psychological effects of these masks are much more important than their physical ones.