A surgical face mask, also called a facial mask, is designed to be worn by medical practitioners during medical procedures. Surgical masks are designed to prevent infections from infecting patients and preserving personnel by capturing airborne pathogens and liquid droplets from the mouth and nose of the wearer. The protective equipment is designed to be easy and comfortable to wear. It prevents the spread of infection and minimizes trauma to the face.
The most common surgical face masks are the nasal masks that are used on patients with sinus problems. Nasal masks can be prescribed to specific patients according to the depth of their pockets and airway structure to determine their exact requirements. They can either be thin plastic tubes or bulkier molded units that fit inside the nostrils. The molded masks usually come with a flexible chin cup for supporting the mask when it is in use and an airtight mouth piece for restricting the flow of air through the mouth. Some dental mesh dental masks come with removable liners that can be easily washed and cleaned.
In-line nose and exhalation valves are another type of medical face mask that can be used to prevent irritation of the skin. These masks are usually small and flexible tubes with two straps to hold them across the nose and mouth. The tubes are placed over the nose and connected to the mouthpiece. The nose and exhalation valves allow only exhaled air to pass through the nose, which eliminates irritating the skin and preventing discomfort.
Another type of face mask is the disposable variety, used mainly for patients who suffer from skin allergies. These cloth masks are made of sterile material and serve as a protective cover against irritants and infectious particles. Disposable face masks come in two types: wet and dry. A dry disposable face mask usually contains no smell and has a plastic liner. Wet disposable face masks (usually used on patients with moderate to light facial allergies) contain a special substance that reduces or eliminates the symptoms associated with irritants.
The materials that these disposable face masks are made of vary. A typical mask made from vinyl is ideal for individuals aged between five and sixty years old. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a superior quality material that prevents moisture and splintering. A face mask made from polyurethane is ideal for those aged between sixteen and forty. A disposable mask that comes with a snap closure is a good choice for anyone wearing dentures. These are a good option because they do not interfere with the patient’s ability to eat or speak.
Some materials used for the face mask can irritate some individuals and increase the chances of eye infections. These include vinyl, synthetic fibers, and polystyrene. Other materials such as silicon dioxide, aluminum oxide, and acrylic offer excellent protection against airborne pathogens but may cause redness, itchiness, and discomfort for some users. The material from which the face coverings are made should be free of any odor and colorant or bleach-resistant. It is important to consult with a physician before wearing any type of mask that contains any of the ingredients above.