Follow These Remedies to Prevent Skin Damage from Face Masks

Suffering skin damage from face masks? Experts offer remedies

face masks
Health experts have stressed that sweating and the rubbing of the masks against the nose may lead to significant skin damage. Pixabay


Doctors, nurses and healthcare personnel fighting COVID-19 from the front lines have to spend many hours a day wearing face masks. Although it offers invaluable protection, health experts have stressed that sweating and the rubbing of the masks against the nose may lead to significant skin damage.

However, following some simple tips like keeping the skin clean, well-hydrated and moisturised can help one avoid skin damage from face masks, according to a recent study, published in the Journal of Wound Care.

Dermatologist D.M. Mahajan of Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals in New Delhi also said that deeply moisturising the skin is important for people who need to wear masks for a long time.

If possible, take off the mask for a while after maintaining some social distancing and keep changing the mask every 8-9 hours, the doctor said.

face masks
Doctors, nurses and healthcare personnel fighting COVID-19 from the front lines have to spend many hours a day wearing face masks. Pixabay

“Doctors need to be very cautious as in this profession social distancing is not possible all the time. To avoid getting infected, they have to wear a mask which needs to have adequate tightness. It is very pertinent that there has to be an adequate pressure which can cause a fair amount of pressure on the nasal bridge, surrounding cheek and jawbone,”Mahajan told IANS.

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Wearing masks for a long time can cause rashes, dryness, acne or pimple formation and dermatitis, the doctor said.

Manjul Agarwal, Senior Consultant, Dermatology, Fortis Hospital in Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi said that surgical face masks and N95 respirator masks when used properly provide adequate protection against infectious diseases transmitted by respiratory droplets.

“Surgical facemasks are commonly made up of polypropylene which is a non woven fabric. Disposable N95 surgical respirators consist of four layers and the innermost layer coming in contact with the skin is also made up of polypropylene,” Agarwal said.

“Although polypropylene is considered to be the safest of all plastics, it can cause skin allergies in rare cases, especially if the mask is wet and worn for long hours.

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“These masks also have a malleable aluminium nose strip placed for a tighter seal of the nose. This, in turn, can cause allergic contact dermatitis, frictional dermatitis and frictional melanosis over the nose,” she told IANS.

According to the doctor, the moisture which collects from exhalation inside the mask especially at body temperature can provide a perfect setting for the bacteria to thrive and may cause infections like folliculitis, especially in men with heavy beards.

Pre-existing dermatoses like acne and fungal infections may also be aggravated due to sweat collection.

face masks
However, following some simple tips like keeping the skin clean, well-hydrated and moisturised can help one avoid skin damage from face masks, according to a recent study. Pixabay

“If any occlusive topicals like oil-based moisturisers and makeup are applied prior to the application of masks, they can lead to blockage of skin pores causing sebum accumulation and acne. The tight elastic bands stretching over the ears can cause pain and contact dermatitis in the retroauricular region,” Agarwal said.

“Frequent changing of the mask, mask free time in between if possible may be practised to prevent these dermatological adverse effects,” she noted.

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For people with acne-prone skin, it may be worth avoiding some of the traditional acne treatments such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinoids as they make the skin further dry or irritable, said Rahul Arora, Associate Consultant Dermatology, Max Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi.

This effect can be aggravated by the routine use of face masks.

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This, however, does not mean that people with sensitive skin cannot wear face masks.

“If they feel that their skin is irritated it can help to use moisturisers that contain ceramides, squalene, niacinamide, or hyaluronic acid that may rehydrate the skin and also serve as a barrier for the skin to protect it,” he added. (IANS)

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3 Live Coronaviruses Don’t Match COVID-19 in Wuhan Lab

Three strains of live coronaviruses in the Wuhan Institute of Virology don't match the virus that causes COVID-19

None of the 3 live Coronaviruses in Wuhan lab matched the virus that causes COVID-19. Pixabay

There are three strains of live coronaviruses in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, but none matches the virus that causes COVID-19, according to the director of the institute.

In an interview to state broadcaster CGTN aired on Saturday night, Wang Yanyi said that any suggestion that the SARS-CoV-2 leaked from her institute is “pure fabrication”.

After the COVID-19 outbreak started in Wuhan late last year and eventually became a global pandemic, the biosafety laboratory in China’s Hubei province has been in the eye of a storm as conspiracy theories suggesting the virus could have leaked from the lab started gaining traction.

Those were later even picked by US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

However, Wang stressed that the “current consensus of the international academic community is that the virus originated from wild animals.”

She also underlined the need for global cooperation to find answers to questions such as where the viruses that are highly similar to SARS-CoV-2 are.

The world need to cooperate over this as there are many viruses that are highly similar to SARS-CoV-2. (Representational Image). Pixabay

“Now we have three strains of live viruses. One of them has the highest similarity, 96 per cent to the SARS virus. But their highest similarity to SARS-CoV-2 only reaches 79.8 per cent,” Wang told the broadcaster.

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Over 5.3 million people in the world have so far tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 3,40,000 have died due to the pandemic, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Wang said that her institute first received the clinical sample of the unknown pneumonia on December 30 last year. Before that they did not know the virus even existed.

“After we checked the pathogen within the sample, we found it contained a new coronavirus, which is now called SARS-CoV-2. We didn’t have any knowledge before that, nor had we ever encountered, researched or kept the virus,” she said. (IANS)

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DMRC Uses Pictorial Messages to Spread Awareness on COVID-19

The campaign of pictorial awareness has been planned under the supervision of DMRC's Safety department

DMRC spreads awareness among citizens about COVID-19 through pictorial messages. Wikimedia Commons

Amid lockdown 4.0 and halted service of the metro rail in the city, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is engaged in spreading awareness about COVID-19 disease at its construction sites through pictorial messages, according to Covid-19 pandemic in India updates.

In a press statement, the DMRC said, “Along with all conventional methods to raise awareness about this pertinent issue, a number of pictorial awareness messages have been painted at DMRC’s sites so that the workers keep getting reminded about the precautions while at work.”

The campaign has been planned under the supervision of DMRC’s Safety department.

The DMRC asserted that all relevant government guidelines and advisories have been taken into consideration while planning the content. Easy language and pictorials have been used so that the messages are satisfactorily conveyed.

The DMRC said that getting the messages painted was a major challenge as most of the painters, who are generally engaged for such assignments, were unavailable during the ongoing lockdown. As an alternative mechanism, printed banners in flex were installed at a number of locations. “While the messages are largely bilingual, a lot of focus has been laid on the use of Hindi as a lot of workers are more proficient in reading Hindi,” said the DMRC.

coronavirus DMRC
Painters were unavailable for making such messages because of the lockdown, said DMRC. (Representational Image). Pixabay

At present, the corporation is carrying out construction at about five to six different sites in the city including work sites of Dhansa, Airport Express Line expansion work in Dwarka as well as sites/casting yards for Phase 4 projects.

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It said that all guidelines set by the government agencies are being implemented while resuming works and contractors and workers are being sensitised about the precautionary guidelines at the beginning of work during the tool workshops.

“Displays with the necessary information regarding social distancing have been installed at the sites. Masks, sanitizers and thermal scanners have been made available at the sites as well. DMRC’s engineers are keeping a very close eye at the sites to ensure all norms are followed,” it said. (IANS)

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New York Times Devotes Entire Front Page to COVID-19 Victims

The names of 1,000 of the COVID-19 victims were published on the front page of New York Times

New York Times
The New York Times dedicated its front page to the names of COVID-19 victims. Pixabay

The New York Times has devoted its entire front page to the names of 1,000 of the COVID-19 victims as the US approaches nearly 100,000 virus deaths, the current highest in the world as suggested by COVID-19 Information & Resources.

The Sunday edition’s front page comprises a simple list of names and personal details taken from obituaries around the US, the BBC reported.

The headline is “US deaths near 100,000, an incalculable loss”, with a sub-heading that reads: “They were not simply names on a list. They were us.”

New York state, the epicentre of the US coronavirus pandemic, has recorded 385,000 confirmed cases, with 23,195 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

New York Times
Newspaper article titled “A New Physics Based on Einstein” published in ”The New York Times” on November 25, 1919. Wikimedia Commons

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New York City accounts for 197,000 infections and 16,149 fatalities.

As of Sunday, the US registered the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 1,622,670 and 97,087, respectively. (IANS)