A face mask, sometimes called a nasal mask, is a thin cloth mask usually made of cotton, worn directly over the nose and cheeks. While sometimes very effective at distorting facial features and reducing expression, they are often too uncomfortable or impossible to keep in place for any length of time. For this reason, face masks were most often used during the cold and flu seasons, to help keep the airways clear of mucus and debris that can lead to sinus infections.
The two most common materials used in a face mask are plastic or textile fabrics. Plastic fabric facemasks are durable and relatively inexpensive, but often break easily when they come in contact with sweat, heat or cold. The tiny droplets of sweat made by the wearer make them much more prone to abrasion and ripping. Also, although they can be washed, most plastic facial masks cannot be machine-washed. When physical distancing is nearly impossible, and when other more comfortable fabrics are not readily available, cloth face masks can often be worn more than one time during any given day.
Another popular type of face mask are exhalation valves. Often worn as part of a respiratory therapist’s office equipment, these masks allow you to breathe through a tube or other means without fully removing your mask. They work by holding the nose and mouth open so that you can breathe normally, preventing excess moisture from entering the lungs and causing frostbite. However, because many people have problems with this style of mask because it can be uncomfortable to wear, it is not the most popular option available.
Some people around the world suffer from a condition known as rhinitis. This is an inflammation of the nose. While the primary symptom is usually a runny nose, sometimes a discharge will also occur. This discharge is usually thick and yellowish in color, and can be very itchy. A nasal strip, which can be worn on both the inside and outside of the nose, can help alleviate this discomfort. These strips cover the opening of the nose and pull it closed so that no steam can get into the nose and cause irritation.
Many people do not consider facial hair to be a health issue. While facial hair can sometimes be inconvenient, it can be problematic if it grows too long. Luckily, some face masks are designed to keep hair out of the face. There are disposable patches that you can place over your face to keep the hair from growing into the facial hair mask. These cloth masks are generally washable and do not require you to shave your head to use them.
To improve your ability to breathe correctly, you can also use face masks to prevent the growth of respiratory droplets on your face. These droplets can collect bacteria and allergens, which can exacerbate respiratory infections. Most medical experts recommend using masks made from plastic or silicon that will not trap these irritants. If you cannot find the right mask, you can also look for an alternative that will keep the respiratory droplets from building up. Allergy mask designs are available that will prevent allergens from getting into your airways.