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Know your mask

“The pandemic is here to stay” – this is what experts have to say about the pandemic and its future course. In fact, this is the new normal which will prepare us for a different future. The future that awaits us is full of uncertainty and ambiguity. People do not know how long will the pandemic last or when we will get respite from it. But what is certain is that we are gearing up to accept a new normal in our lives. Things that we have now accepted as our way of life include – using sanitizers, maintaining physical distance and wearing masks. But there have been cases where we have observed that wearing masks had adverse effects as well. People have complained that after wearing masks for long hours they got severe allergic reactions in their faces.

Skin Infections due to masks

We, at The Optimist News, have spoken to some doctors to get their insights in this matter.

One of the leading dermatologists of Kolkata, Dr Subhro Bhattacharya of AMRI Hospitals, says, “Wearing masks for a long time can be problematic. It is advised to wear good quality masks and not to compromise on the quality. Also if sweating and perspiration occur around the mouth area, it is better to remove masks for a while and change it. If sweat is accumulated inside the mask, it is better to replace it immediately.

Also, if the skin is very dry, it is better to use some moisturizer. Also a very common disease called, Angular cheilitis (AC), occurs when food particles get stuck inside the mouth or people suffering from dental caries. These existing problems can cause skin problems and wearing masks can pose additional threats. Also people with dry lips and chapped lips suffer more from wearing masks. So changing masks frequently and using good quality masks is mandatory to maintain oral hygiene and to take care of skin as well. Also, I would suggest that instead of wearing double masks, you can wear a single mask and a face shield for protection.”

Prolonged use of masks creating severe skin infections

Dr Anushree Ganguly, Dermatologist at AG SkinScience Clinic, Gariahat also shared her opinion about cleanliness of face while wearing masks.

Dr Anushree Ganguly, Dermatologist at AG SkinScience Clinic

“The common problems that arise are increased acne on the lower face, Folliculitis i.e. infection of hair follicles and fungal infection around the beard area of males. Also in some cases we see that wearing masks has other side effects including allergic people contact dermatitis from the material of the mask. To avoid these, good quality of mask is mandatory and, if possible wearing cotton mask is advisable.” says Dr Ganguly.

It is now axiomatic that masks will be the new normal for us while stepping out, as long as the pandemic stays. But our oral safety is in our hands, and all we can do is adopt some preventive measures to stay safe and avoid unwanted side effects. So wear masks, maintain oral hygiene, stay safe and keep corona at bay!

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