Following safety guidelines to protect against coronavirus is necessary, but brings along a few minor inconveniences. Here are a few solutions for annoyances brought on by face masks, including foggy glasses and so-called “maskne,” or acne breakouts under masks. You don’t have to accept “maskne” as just another irritating facet of life in 2020. Dr. Samer Jaber, of Washington Square Dermatology in New York City, advises adopting a few simple practices to keep it from forming in the first place. “When you wear a mask, you seal in your breath,” Jaber said. “This creates a moist, humid environment as it traps your breath, skin oils and sweat, leading to irritation, rashes and acne.” He added that the masks themselves may also irritate skin simply by being in contact with the face for long periods of time. This can possibly exacerbate existing conditions like eczema, psoriasis or rosacea. To prevent “maskne,” Jaber recommends washing the face twice daily, with whatever cleanser works best for your skin type and following with a moisturizer around the areas where the mask usually irritates the skin. ”It’s also imperative to let your masks dry out after each wear and to wash your cloth face coverings regularly to remove the oils and sweat trapped in it,” Jaber explains. If things are especially bad, Jaber has one last recommendation: “Don’t wear makeup under your mask.” “You can try a spot treatment with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or glycolic acid,” says Jaber, who also said a hydrocortisone cream could help reduce inflammation on irritated areas. “Just be careful, as your skin in that area will likely be sensitive and topical acne treatments can make this more irritated and even worse.” Since face masks trap the breath and foster moist, humid environments, glasses wearers may have noticed that wearing a face mask can cause your lenses to fog. In a 2011 study from the Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, researchers advised washing the glasses with soapy water “immediately” before wearing a face mask. After shaking off any excess water, “let the spectacles air dry or gently dry off the lenses with a soft tissue before putting them back on. Now the spectacle lenses should not mist up when the face mask is worn,” they wrote. Glasses fog because humidity can escape the mask and move upward, coming into contact with the lenses and causing them to fog. Placing a tissue under the top of your face mask can also help absorb some of the droplets, leading to clear lenses. Wearing a mask that can form to the bridge of your nose — one with wire, for instance — can help prevent the warm air from your mouth from reaching your lenses. Next, frequent hand washing, especially during the ongoing pandemic, can lead to skin feeling dry, irritated or cracked. Preventing rough skin can be as simple as switching to a fragrance-free hand soap, which may contain fewer irritants. But Jaber also recommends carrying hand moisturizer for use after washing and drying your hands, suggesting a cream or an ointment rather than a lotion, as lotions are usually thinner and often contain alcohol. “Lotions can be great, but creams or ointments are thicker. Vaseline is an ointment, and it really locks things in,” Jaber said. Jaber further advised against fragranced moisturizers, as they may contain irritants. On another note, your face mask may be shifting around because it’s too loose. According to USA Today, the quickest and easiest solution is to fasten a knot in the mask’s ear loops. There are also lanyards that tighten the mask from behind the head, the outlet wrote. Since face masks are federally recommended for everyone over the age of 2, one expert recommended cloth face coverings for kids. “Cloth face coverings are the best option for most children. Any child who can mask, should,” Sara Johnson, associate professor of pediatrics and public health at Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine and Public Health, told NBC News. Until there is a safe and effective vaccine, health officials advise face masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing to protect against the virus and curb virus spread.
Back-to-school is going to look a little different. Crayola has created a lineup of fun and colorful masks for children as back-to-school potentially draws closer amid the coronavirus pandemic. The popular crayon brand has collaborated with SchoolMaskPack to make the face coverings for kids. “The mask system has applied our proven face mask technology to Crayola’s signature colors that have inspired many generations,” said George Hartel, chief commercial officer of SchoolMaskPack in a press release. The masks come in a pack of five – one for each day of school – and can be worn “for best use up to 6 months” with regular washing. Each mask in the crayon-themed line-up features a silly, and sometimes sassy, cartoon face. However, there are other patterns and colors for children to choose from. “Crayola has always worked to support children in the home and in the classroom,” said Warren Schorr, Vice President of Business Development and Global Licensing at Crayola. “We’re glad to partner with SchoolMaskPack to bring options to their mask system and provide supportive solutions for school communities, parents, teachers, and children.” The masks are available for pre-order for $29.99 for kids and $39.99 for adults, in case grown-ups want to channel their inner-child. Click here for more:
Health experts have stressed the importance of wearing a mask to limit the possibility of infecting others with COVID-19, but a range of new research now suggests they also protect the wearer, according to a report Monday. With many states implementing policies to make face coverings mandatory in both indoor and outdoor spaces, one doctor says that masks also reduce the risk of infection to the wearer by 65 percent. “We’ve learned more due to research and additional scientific evidence and now we know [that] not only wearing a mask prevents the person wearing the mask to transmit to others, but wearing the mask protects the person who’s wearing it,” said Dean Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis Children’s Hospital. “So the wearer of the mask, even the standard rectangular surgical masks … will decrease the risk of infection by the person wearing the mask by about 65 percent.” He added that N95 masks do an even better job at protecting people from the virus, but they are in short supply and are needed for healthcare professionals. Blumberg and William Ristenpart, a professor of chemical engineering at UC Davis, appeared on UC Davis Live: Coronavirus Edition to discuss the topic of transmission. Ristenpart’s lab at UC Davis has studied how people emit small droplets while breathing or talking that could carry the virus. The pair highlighted two primary methods of transmission. The first being visible droplets a carrier expels, which are roughly one-third the size of a human hair. They said masks create an effective barrier against those types of droplets. “Everyone should wear a mask,” Blumberg said. “People who say, ‘I don’t believe masks work,’ are ignoring scientific evidence. It’s not a belief system. It’s like saying, ‘I don’t believe in gravity.’” The second is via the aerosol particles we expel when we talk. They are about 1/100th the size of a human hair and are more difficult to defend against. He said that’s because the smaller particles could still sneak through a gap in rectangular or homemade cloth masks. Social distancing and staying outdoors, are helpful for staying clear of the small particles because there is more airflow, Blumberg and Ristenpart said. “Studies in laboratory conditions now show the virus stays alive in aerosol form with a half-life on the scale of hours. It persists in the air,” Ristenpart added. “That’s why you want to be outdoors for any social situations if possible. The good airflow will disperse the virus. If you are indoors, think about opening the windows. You want as much fresh air as possible.” He said that’s why enclosed areas like bars — seen as hotspots for contracting the virus — are particularly dangerous: “The louder you speak, the more expiratory aerosols you put out.” “So we don’t know who might spread it,” Blumberg said. “We do know social distancing reduces the risk of transmitting the virus by 90 percent, and wearing masks decreases the risk by 65 percent.”
Researchers have found that wearing surgical masks can significantly reduce the rate of airborne COVID-19 transmission, according to a study released on Sunday. The study, conducted by a team of scientists in Hong Kong, found the rate of non-contact transmission through respiratory droplets or airborne particles dropped by as much as 75 percent when masks were used. “The findings implied to the world and the public is that the effectiveness of mask-wearing against the coronavirus pandemic is huge,” said Dr. Yuen Kwok-yung, a leading microbiologist from Hong Kong University who helped discover the SARS virus back in 2003. It was released by the department of microbiology at the University of Hong Kong and comes as world leaders, including the World Health Organization (WHO), have questioned the effectiveness of face coverings outside of medical settings. The study, described as a first of its kind, placed hamsters in two cages, with one of the groups infected with COVID-19 and the other being healthy. They placed the animals in three different scenarios to analyze the effectiveness of the face coverings. In one scenario the mask barriers were placed only on cages with the infected subjects, another saw the masks covering the healthy subjects, and the third saw with no mask barriers at all. For all of the scenarios, a fan was placed between the cages to allow for the transmission of respiratory droplets. They found that when the mask was placed over the infected cage the infection rate dropped to just over 15 percent. That infection rate went up to 33 percent when the mask barrier was only used to cover the healthy hamsters’ cage. With no mask barriers at all, roughly two-thirds of the healthy hamsters were infected with the virus within a week, the study found. Researchers added that the hamsters who were infected even with the mask barrier had less of the virus in their bodies when compared to those infected without the masks. “In our hamster experiment, it shows very clearly that if infected hamsters or humans — especially asymptomatic or symptomatic ones — put on masks, they actually protect other people,” Yuen said in a press conference on Sunday, according to Sky News. “That’s the strongest result we showed here. Transmission can be reduced by 50 percent when surgical masks are used, especially when masks are worn by infected individuals.” He said up until we have a vaccine for the virus, what remains practical is either social distancing or wearing a mask. Last month, a separate study published by a group of international experts, created a model that shows cases of the virus could be cut significantly if “(near) universal masking” is adopted. “Universal masking at 80 [percent] adoption flattens the curve significantly more than maintaining a strict lockdown,” researchers wrote in the study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, as of last week. “Masking at only 50 [percent] adoption is not sufficient to prevent continued spread,” the researchers added. “Replacing the strict lockdown with social distancing on May 31 without masking results in unchecked spread.”
This, of course, only validates what we already know. So..to recap. Practice social distancing, wear face masks, and don’t pull a Joe Biden and cough into your hand and then touch your face. Cough into your arm/elbow, and get outside and get some sun. Those and wash hands a LOT…and use hand sanitizer. If we ALL do that, we’ll beat this Wuhan nonsense much faster.