Tips for Wearing a Face Mask in Summer

  • Connexions
  • 2020-07-22
  • 1192

Proper Mask Care

How you take care of your mask determines its effectiveness. Cloth masks should be washed after every use, and if you’re frequently outside, you may want to invest in more than one. “For cloth masks, after they get soiled—wet with sweat or anything from your hands—they should be changed as soon as possible,” Gonzalez says. If you’re around others for a long time, having another mask on hand could be a saving grace if the heat starts beating down.

If you have to take your mask off for some reason, avoid touching the mask in the process. Gonzalez recommends removing the mask by the straps at the ears, placing the mask on a paper towel face down, and placing another paper towel on top of it to ensure it remains sanitary during the break.

Combating Skin Irritation and Acne

When sweating and wearing more sunscreen in the summer, the chances of masks causing skin irritation will increase. Luckily, local dermatologist Dr. Reena Jogi assures us that preventing and treating this is definitely possible.

To avoid skin irritation in the heat, Jogi suggests wearing breathable cloth masks and investing in a sun protection neck gaiter to protect against UV exposure. Trying to avoid spending long amounts of time outside in the middle of the day can also protect from potentially harmful heat and humidity.

If skin irritation does occur, “the best approach is to try a mild emollient [moisturizer] such as Aquaphor or Vaseline a few times per day,” Dr. Jogi recommends. These products are hypoallergenic and gently heal skin. For what Jogi calls “maskne”—acne caused by mask use—or other COVID-related breakouts, try these different products to treat stressed-out skin.

Listen to Your Body

Lastly, but most importantly, do what’s best for you. If you feel you need to take a break every 15 minutes, do it. Don’t exert yourself if you don’t need to. If wearing a mask in the heat makes it hard to breath because of preexisting conditions, limit mask use by staying home or staying away from others when outdoors. Stay hydrated, especially when the masks will likely lead to higher body temperatures and sweating. Listen to your body, be smart while practicing safety precautions, and this summer will be very cool and comfortable ... relatively speaking.

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