Mask Causing Skin Irritation? Check Out These Options (Your Ears Will Welcome You). Links and Videos Included.

Mask Causing Skin Irritation? Check Out These Options (Your Ears Will Welcome You). Links and Videos Included.

Normally, when wearing a face mask, you would loop the ties behind your ears to hold the mask in place. However, skin irritation can occur due to the consistent pressure and friction from the fabric. For those who wear face masks for an extended amount of time, like healthcare workers, this prolonged irritation can be painful.

Thankfully, there are a lot of creative ideas on how to minimize this discomfort. Check out these options and see what could work for you:

Use a Strap

The idea behind the strap is that the face mask ties will loop around a strap instead of your ears. You can buy a strap from a variety of places including here and here.

If you are able to sew, you may want to make your own to ensure that it fits your head. Follow along to this straightforward video for directions:

If you have a skill for crocheting, you can easily whip up a strap with small quantities of yarn. Follow along to this video to get started:

If you have limited time or sewing or crocheting isn’t your forte, consider putting together a few household items to come up with your own solution to prevent skin irritation. Check out this video for an example:

“Fit snugly up to eyes and over chin, secure with ties or ear loops, include multiple layers of fabric, allow breathing without restriction”

Add Buttons

Many healthcare workers wear headbands or fitted caps to prevent their hair from falling and absorb sweat. Adding buttons to these accessories can be a game changer and effectively print skin irritation. Buttons on each side of your head can be use to hold face mask ties like this example.

You can purchase a headband with the buttons already attached here and here. Or, if you prefer to wear a cap to work, check out these bold and colorful ones.

Feeling crafty? Well, take out your sewing machine and follow along to this helpful and clear video:

No sewing machine? No problem! All you’ll need is thread and a button to fasten those buttons onto your headband:

Make Sure to Follow CDC’s Guidelines

Regardless of what method you choose to prevent skin irritation, it is critical that you continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines. As stated on their website:

  • Make sure the mask covers your nose and mouth
  • The mask should fit snugly around the sides of your face
  • Make sure the mask is long enough to secure your chin

For more information on personal protective equipment check out this article here and here.

In addition to these guidelines, it is also recommended to wash your straps, headbands, hats, or whatever you’re using to secure your mask in place. Check out this post on decontaminating your work uniform here for more tips.

We want to hear your thoughts – have you tried one of these methods and have an opinion about the effectiveness? Or, have you discovered a new way to prevent skin irritation? Let us know in the comments below!

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About the author

Kristie Cabrera

Kristie is an occupational therapist, mental health advocate, and amateur urban farmer. Her experience with taking care of others in the healthcare setting and taking care of the land are both important pieces that make up who she is. As a life-long learner and creative, she hopes to create content that is centered around wellness and healing.

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