Professor of Nursing and Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching), School of Nursing and Midwifery, Griffith University
Thea van de Mortel teaches in the Graduate Infection Prevention and Control Program at Griffith University.
Griffith University provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.
Summer is approaching, and you may be wondering how you will wear a mask as the weather gets warmer.
Which mask is best? Is there any way to prevent "macne"? How to prevent earrings from rubbing? How to prevent sunglasses from fogging?
Here are some practical tips to keep you comfortable while helping you stay safe.
Read more: Which mask works best? We filmed the process of people coughing and sneezing to find out
Disposable surgical masks are more effective than cloth masks in filtering viruses, but to remain effective, they can only be used once. Cloth masks are not that effective, but they can be washed and reused.
According to the World Health Organization, cloth masks should have three layers. The inner layer should be a soft cotton cloth because it will be more comfortable on the face. Compared with synthetic materials, it is also more absorbent and less irritating. Cloth masks with synthetic materials on the inner layer can also increase sweating, so avoid these.
All masks become less effective when wet-because of the moist air you exhale and your sweat. The best mask to wear in hot weather is the one you are most likely to wear.
Wearing a mask can affect your skin in many ways. It increases skin temperature and sweating, which can worsen acne or other skin conditions. This is where the term "macne" or "mascne" comes from.
Wearing a mask can also increase the production of sebum (skin oil), which can clog pores.
If the mask is not suitable, it will cause friction. If the innermost layer is made of synthetic fibers, and depending on how you wash, they can also cause sensitive reactions.
Although it looks strange, your skin will also become drier under the mask. This may be because the moisture under the mask destroys the normal skin barrier.
If you want to wear a cloth mask, it is recommended to use a soft cotton lined mask to reduce the risk of skin irritation. Dermatologists also recommend avoiding makeup when wearing a mask, such as some foundation and powder, to avoid clogging the pores.
Dermatologists also recommend washing your mask regularly, preferably after each use. If you are prone to skin diseases, please use special detergent for sensitive skin to clean the mask, because ordinary detergent contains perfume and chemicals that can cause skin reactions. For the same reason, avoid using fabric softeners.
Dermatologists also recommend washing your face with warm water and mild detergents in the morning and evening, and avoid using irritating solutions such as retinoids or aftershave. The moisturizer before and after wearing the mask can help the skin replenish moisture; ensuring that your mask fits tightly will reduce friction.
Read more: 13 insider tips on how to wear a mask to keep your glasses from fogging, shortness of breath or ear pain
When you wear a mask for a long time, the elastic ring can cause painful pressure behind your ears.
To prevent this from happening, use a paper clip to connect the earrings behind the head together to reduce the pressure on the ears.
Another clever solution is to use a headband with buttons or paper clips. You attach the earring to the button/clip instead of putting the earring on the ear.
People who wear prescription glasses are accustomed to avoiding fogging when wearing a mask. The same advice applies to people who wear sunglasses.
When you put on a mask, the sun will fog because the warm water vapor in your breath will come out of the top of the mask and condense on your lenses.
Prevent moist air from reaching your sunlight by:
Put them on the mask instead of above it. The pressure of sunlight reduces the chance of steam escaping from the top of the mask
Pinch the top of the surgical mask to improve the fit of the top of the nose. If using a cloth mask, insert a duct cleaner on the top to shape the mask on the nose
Use a soft tape suitable for the skin to stick to the top of the mask. If you do this, first test the tape elsewhere on your body to make sure you are not responding to it.
Use anti-fog wipes or sprays on the lenses, you can buy them at your local pharmacy or optometrist
Create your own anti-fog effect by rubbing a thin layer of liquid soap or shaving cream on the inside of each lens.
However, please use anti-fog solutions with caution, as some solutions may damage any anti-glare or anti-ultraviolet film on the lens. If you are not sure, please consult your optometrist.
Read more: Can't your child wear a mask? Here are 5 things you can try
Whether you choose to wear a cloth mask or a surgical mask this summer, these simple tips will help you become more comfortable as the temperature rises, sweat more, and your skin may become more irritated.
But please make sure to wear a mask correctly. Wearing it under the nose will make it completely ineffective.
Read more: It's easy to judge. But some people really can’t wear a mask
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