Face masks originated in Egypt, as early as the thirteenth century. They were used to keep dirt and other impurities out of the face. Face masks had a variety of uses and could be simple or complex. Many people wore face masks for protection from infections and diseases. They were also worn by royalty.
A cloth face mask, also known as a nasal mask, is a small, disposable mask usually made from common fabric, such as cotton, worn above the nose and mouth. When practical masks aren’t available, or if physical distancing isn’t possible, cloth face masks can still provide the essential impurities-out-of-the-way look. People wore masks as part of facial adornment for centuries. Today’s face masks are usually much more elaborate, with fancier fabrics and decorative items. Some even feature a zippered flap that can be closed, so that the face is covered completely, even on the nose and behind the ears.
Many people who have a problem breathing through the mouth (strictly speaking, this is known as “infantile paroxysmal dyspnea”) find it very difficult to maintain a sense of self-esteem and self-confidence. For these people, the ability to wear a simple cloth face mask, which covers the nose but leaves the mouth free, can provide tremendous social distancing. A simple “nose tote” may be all that’s necessary to keep the head relatively still and the face mask free. If social distancing is more important than self-esteem, however, the individual may prefer to wear a more elaborate face mask. This type of mask features additional straps or clasps on the arms or around the neck, which may be closed in order to cover the nose and mouth completely.
Face coverings such as cloth and plastic masks come in a variety of materials, from polyester fibers to leather and vinyl. All types of face coverings have their own advantages and disadvantages, but plastic faces in particular have become very popular in recent years due to their low cost, easy maintenance and anti-microbial properties. Plastic faces are comfortable to wear, which means that they won’t feel like a restriction or burden. They are also less likely to fall off than many other types of facial hair, which makes them very convenient for use by children. Although they can be washed regularly, plastic faces may crack or fade over time, so they should be stored properly to keep them looking new.
To help prevent the virus from spreading, healthcare workers should always wear masks. Masks worn in healthcare settings include doctors, nurses, pharmacy technicians and food service workers. Doctors and nurses can wear high quality hospital face masks with full face coverage for better protection. Pharmacy technicians should wear high quality disposable masks or specially made medical gloves.
Controlling the spread of the disease is only part of the equation. Once someone becomes infected with the virus, there are few methods to prevent the virus from replicating itself. However, using a quality face mask will help prevent droplets from entering the respiratory tract and eventually causing a more serious health threat. Droplets can enter the nose and mouth, where serious health issues can arise. Nasal and mouth infections can cause serious problems including pneumonia, fever, blood clots and shock.