The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised all Americans to clip-on a face mask while out in public places to prevent contracting the coronavirus, and we have no choice but to learn how to wear our face masks on a daily bases to avoid being a victim.
Even though it’s a way to stay safe, it doesn’t always feel easy wearing a face mask as it hurts the ears and affects your breath as well. Nurses and health care workers who’ve been wearing them for years can reveal more about it.
A research study published in April in the journal Wound Management & Prevention concluded that extensive face mask use ― typically by health care workers who wear masks for long periods of time ― can trigger friction lesions.
The study said, “loss of facial skin integrity creates a portal for penetration of pathogens, including the coronavirus itself, as well as other hospital-acquired bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. Thus, skin damage can facilitate penetration of coronavirus and other pathogens into the blood circulation directly.”
The major part that’s particularly vulnerable to friction is behind the ears, especially when wearing face masks with straps that attach behind the ears. People who don’t work in the medical profession, who just started wearing it for the fight against coronavirus won’t likely wear face masks long enough to experience friction lesions, but wearing masks for even short periods of time can still cause discomfort.
Since experts have advised that wearing a mask is key to preventing the spread of COVID-19, it’s important to find a solution for that discomfort instead of avoiding it because of the discomfort it brings.
People have brainstormed and have come up with an alternative, which is to switch to a tie-back type of mask, like this one, which won’t pull at the backs of your ears: