Face masks have been around for centuries and they have always been an important part of every woman’s beauty regimens. For the time being, they are only considered cosmetic items. But that could change in the near future. Recent tests show that face masks can be used to fight certain types of skin infections, to improve skin tone and even as a way to make the skin look younger. So, what exactly is a face mask?
A face mask is typically a cloth face mask worn over the nose and mouth, typically to combat flu or common colds. Although these traditional facemasks may work very well today, new research shows that some varieties are more effective than others at fighting bacteria and viruses. If this holds true for the United States as well, the use of face masks by Americans in the pandemic outbreak could become a popular thing indeed.
Traditionally, face masks were worn primarily to keep dust and other contaminants out of the nose and mouth. Modern research has shown that these same types of masks can be worn to help keep bacteria out of the nose and mouth during flu season. The cloth filters may be designed to keep smaller particles out, while larger particles are kept in with the other mucus. However, studies conducted by the Armed Forces Health Information Authority found that at least one major virus was still present in samples from five states during the 2011-2012 cold season – meaning that even in the middle of the swine flu epidemic, these filters weren’t able to keep every last bit of virus out.
In the pandemic outbreak, these same types of masks may be worn as a means of filtering airway allergens. Airborne allergens such as pollen and mold are difficult to keep out of your nose and lungs when you are outdoors. Many people find that allergies cause them to break out in hives, runny noses, and eyes, making it difficult to breathe at times. A face mask can be worn as a means of filtering these allergens from entering the nose so that you can breathe easier when outdoors.
Scientists have also studied the effectiveness of face masks when it comes to fighting bacterial infections. Face masks made from flannel or cotton have been used as a way of filtering out bacteria. However, these cloth masks may not block the growth of MRSA or other forms of staph infection. So, while you may think that a face mask will protect you from these bacteria, the research conducted by scientists has shown that in fact they may make the infection more severe.
If a cloth face coverings manufacturer chooses to use these types of masks for close contact with the public, then they are putting themselves in a very risky situation. When faced with a potential lawsuit because someone develops an allergy after using the said product, these companies are at a great disadvantage. This is especially true if there was a breach of implied warranties on the product. It is imperative that you check the ingredients list on any face mask before you purchase it, or better yet consult your doctor or dermatologist about what type of mask would be best for your skin type.