Answer Bank: How to avoid the skin damage caused by wearing masks?
Updated 12:26, 26-Feb-2020
By Guo Meiping
Designed by Li Yueyun. /CGTN

Designed by Li Yueyun. /CGTN

Wearing a mask in public has become normal amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Masks help prevent infection of respiratory diseases, particularly the novel coronavirus. But wearing for a long time could cause skin damage including pimples and abrasions. 

Dr. Liu Jie, professor of medicine from the Department of Dermatology at Peking Union Medical College Hospital, provided some suggestions for the public regarding the protection of skin under masks.

The doctor suggested that people change the position of their masks after two to three hours of use, and replace them after six hours.

Pressure from wearing masks could also injure the skin and tissue around the nose, cheeks and behind the ears.  

"People who have sensitive skin are suggested to read the instructions (of their mask) before using to check if the mask contains material that could cause skin allergies," Dr. Liu said during a press conference on Tuesday.

She suggested people choose tie-on face masks or those with wider straps that cause less pressure.

"Parents need to choose masks of suitable size and shape for their children to reduce pressure on their faces."

For those who have heavy indentations caused by masks, Dr. Liu said that topical creams containing Mucopolysaccharide Polysulfate (MPS) could help ease the situation, and that people could use topical neosporin if there was swelling or ulcerations on their skin.

Pale and winkled skin is mainly caused by concentrated moisture under the masks. Using a moisturizer that contains zinc oxide or Vaseline can reduce irritation to the skin from sweat and friction, according to Dr. Liu.

After taking off the masks, people should clean their skin and use moisturizer. "If there is serious skin damage such as infection or allergy, please go to the hospital and seek professional treatment," she said.

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