Turns Out Wearing Masks Does Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 and Flu

Turns Out Wearing Masks Does Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 and Flu

According to the CDC, who has gone back and forth on this issue, you can prevent the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask. BUT that means the right mask the right way.

With the current changes from fall to winter and going into the flu season, more people will get sick from the flu, cold, or the COVID-19. According to the CDC, wearing a mask not only protects yourself from the Coronavirus, but it also protects those people around you.

As we all know, Coronavirus can lead to serious health issues, even death. When the CDC first recommended that Americans wear cloth or disposable face coverings back in the Spring of 2020, it cited that the Coronavirus may also be spread by people that are asymptomatic. That means that some people who caught the Coronavirus were not even aware that they had the virus. The CDC just released studies that asymptomatic folks spread more than 50% of the virus infections.

The bottom line, wearing a mask may help lessen the likelihood of spreading the COVID-19 and flu infection, especially to more vulnerable people with health conditions and the elderly.

How Effective Is Your Mask – Important Distinctions

Masks are intended to block virus-laden particles that could be emitted by an infected person. Wearing proper masks help to safeguard you and those around you.

According to Dr. Scott Segal, a professor and chair of anesthesiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine have been putting various cloth masks to the test since March. He shared this rule of thumb with NPR earlier this year concerning testing the effectiveness of your masks. Dr. Segal suggests that you hold up the fabric to bright light or the sunlight. While looking through the mask, if you can see easily see through or easily see the person’s outline, or the object in front of you, then your mask is probably not effective in filtering out the virus. But if you can’t see through it or can’t see the person or objects outline, then it’s probably going to filter out viruses more effectively.  

 Dr. Segal and other researchers suggest that a tight-weave 100% cotton material will probably do a better job of filtering particles that carry the virus. Disposable, surgical masks are also generally more effective than cloth.

This well-researched article by NPR discusses the right qualities to look for in both kinds of masks.

Dermatology & Health Issues for Mask Wearers

Dermatology & Health Issues for Mask WearersWhile it’s crucial to protect yourself and those around you from COVID-19, face masks cause an uptick in rashes, acne, and even bacterial infections. The humid environment and re-breathing of waste gases you experience while wearing a mask can cause breakouts around your nose, cheeks, mouth, and chin.  While these skin issues are a boon to estheticians, they are 100% preventable.

Some people are even experiencing bacterial infections from wearing the same mask for hours every day without washing or changing it daily.

If you’re wearing a disposable mask for extended periods every day, change to a new one daily.  If you use a cloth mask, it’s important to wash or switch to a clean one daily.

Tips to Prevent “Maskne” Acne & Breakouts

Yes, acne from wearing masks is now a thing. It makes sense that wearing the same mask for hours or wearing one day after day traps moisture, oils, bacteria in an unnatural way that can cause skin irritation and breakouts.

So how do you prevent the problem vs. treating afterward?

Tips to Prevent “Maskne” Acne & Breakouts With appreciation – graphic by Lisa Adams
  • Wash your face with a gentle anti-bacterial cleanser morning and night
  • Try to use moisturizers that are fragrance-free & non-comedogenic or products that don’t clog your pores
  • Avoid touching or fondling your mask and then your face. It transfers dirt and environmental pollution to your skin and can get trapped under your mask
  • Wash or change your mask every day

How to Wear Your Mask Correctly and Comfortably

The most important thing we can leave you with is if a mask is uncomfortable, chances are you will either not wear it or not wear it correctly. Just think of all the people you see with a mask covering their mouths but not their noses.

  • Make sure the mask covers your nose and mouth
  • Adjust the straps so it won’t hurt the back of your ears and head
  • Choose the right type of mask for you. If you can breathe easier with an effective cloth or disposable mask, then the choice is clear. If breathing is still an issue, use a shield instead. Don’t let fashion or other’s opinions dictate your selection 
    • If you wear glasses, choose a mask with the metal strip inside the nose part of the mask. When you put the mask on, press and form the metal strip to your nose and face so that your moist breath does not fog your glasses
    • Use an anti-fog spray on your glasses or shield

 At Safety Toe Shoes USA, our commitment is to your safety and that of your family. We hope this article provides you with information and tips to stay well. Share it with your friends!

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