A facial mask is an over-the-counter cosmetic product typically made from synthetic textiles, most commonly polyester or cotton, worn around the nose and mouth. Although masks may also be used on the lips and eyes, they are more popular for treatment of acne, eczema, blemishes, boils and whiteheads. Facial masks may also be used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and for temporarily removing a chipped, dry or irritated lip.
When a face mask becomes dirty, it should be removed immediately and rinsed thoroughly with warm or cold water. Clean hands should be used to remove particles. If possible, hands should be washed before the mask. If possible, the wearer should avoid getting near the object being cleaned as small particles could be released into the air, causing breathing problems, including allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory conditions.
A medical professional may also recommend wearing surgical masks in extreme situations such as an emergency room or disaster area where the general public may be unhealthily exposed to infected patients. The wearing of surgical masks, by health care professionals, has become increasingly important in the wake of recent outbreaks of influenza and other viral diseases. During a recent outbreak of swine flu in Chicago, Illinois, many people refused to wear masks while washing hands, even to clean themselves. The health risks involved in not wearing a face mask during an emergency are high.
Face masks should not be worn while exercising or any other strenuous activity, if at all possible. In fact, if the face mask will be in direct contact with skin, one should wash the face and eyes well before putting it on and wear sunglasses or goggles to protect the eyes and mouth. No matter how well a person has been treated, if the face mask will come in contact with the skin, it should be removed. Even for work wear, a surgical mask should never be worn during normal day to day activities. Swimming is generally OK, but swimming pools are generally contaminated with infectious agents that can enter the body through contact with a face mask while in the pool. Similarly, for long periods of time in hot shower water, the use of a face mask will prevent the entry of bacteria and viruses.
It’s important to remember that the surgeon is not always right. Sometimes, he or she makes a mistake. Even when the procedure is performed perfectly, there could be a problem with the fit of the face mask. During a facial, the surgeon should use disposable sutures under the chin rather than adhesive tapes. Adhesive tapes can cause swelling, and the sutures will keep the face mask in place.
If a face mask becomes caught in the nostrils, the process should be reversed. The nose should be held firmly and the face mask removed with tweezers. In this case, the surgeon can make an incision along the bottom of the nose and thread the nose loop through the hole created by the snorkel. Once the nose loop is through the hole in the nostril, it can be brought up through the top of the lip without damaging the skin.