Wearing a face mask has become common as it may prevent coronavirus but wearing a face mask may have many side effects.
Face mask burdens the breath and forces the person to inhale small amount of oxygen especially impacting people suffering from asthma. According to a research, a prolonged denial of enough oxygen can cripple the ability of your immune system. According to Dr. Dennis A Castro, that prolonged use of face masks causes hypoxia. Using a face mask can reduce blood oxygenation by 20%. A study measured the oxygen level in blood of 53 surgeons.
“The researchers found that the mask reduced the blood oxygen levels (pa02) significantly. The longer the duration of wearing the mask, the greater the fall in blood oxygen levels,” Russel Blaylock wrote.
Wearing face masks for long time may cause headache. In an article Dr. Russell Blaylock wrote that the side effects from prolonged wearing of a face mask “can vary from headaches to increased airway resistance, carbon dioxide accumulation, to hypoxia, all the way to serious life-threatening complications.”
According to a recent study, because of wearing a face mask, 128 healthcare workers out of 159 healthcare workers whose aged between 21 and 35 reported facing inefficiency at work.
Another study involved 212 healthcare workers to observe headache due to using face masks. The researchers noted the duration, type and any related pre-existing conditions. 33% of the workers reported suffering from headache and majority had pre-existing headache that became worse due to wearing face masks.
Another side effect is that when a person wears a face mask, the exhaled air containing carbon dioxide moves toward the eyes generating uncomfortable feeling. Face mask can also cause different diseases like Maskne, malaria, etc.
What Is MASKNE?
MASKNE is the most common disease that may be caused by wearing a face mask. Maskne is a term used to describe the acne in the area where the mask is worn. It is caused because the mask traps oil and dirt in pores. This oil and dirt also irritate the skin.
Dr. Craig Kraffert, dermatologist and president of Amarte Skin Care believes, “[Maskne] is a play on the ‘derm-urban dictionary’ term ‘backne’ (back acne), newly coined for our novel COVID-19 face mask era. Chestne (chest acne) is a previous play on the infamous term backne, as well,”. He also said that a similar acne response is often common with helmet straps and seen in acne-prone football players and cyclists.
Wearing a mask can also cause malaria and rosacea. Malaria can result from sweat under the face mask. More microorganisms go into your body because of wearing a face mask.
“Mask wearing leads to local alteration of the skin microbiome. With mask use, the covered skin is subjected to elevated CO2 levels, increased humidity, higher temperatures, and more bacteria and microorganisms from the mouth and respiratory system,” said Kraffert.
Emollient, prescription, and moisturizer can help control maskne. Skin irritation with wearing face mask is most common. Friedman told that thicker emollient, such as Aquaphor can be use to minimize it- in the area to augment skin barrier function and provide lubrication for the junction of the mask with the skin. To protect yourself from side effects of wearing a face mask, Kraffert recommended to wash your face after removing the mask.
Experts recommend taking of face masks when not in public. In fact, the wearer inhales his or her own exhaled air which contains mostly carbon dioxide. So, inhaling carbon dioxide causes different diseases like breathing difficulties, rapid heart rate, emotional upset, etc.