If you work as a healthcare worker, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the trials and tribulations of PPE: a great necessity but also a source of considerable discomfort.
We’ve looked at the latest advice from the British Association of Dermatologists and NHS England to compile some simple dos and don’ts to avoid skin problems from face masks and PPE.
What are the main problems from wearing PPE masks?
Friction and sweat! They're a terrible combination for skin. The necessarily tight fit of the face mask or goggles means that skin can get pretty sore, particularly on the bridge of the nose, but also on the cheeks and round the ears. Skin can also get hot, sweaty and damp, which can result in a whole host of skin issues.
- Peeling skin
- Red pressure marks
- Breaking down of overly damp skin
- Skin thinning
Other than the obvious pain and discomfort, this can lead to some serious problems: it increases the risk of people touching their faces and getting infected when they’re not wearing a mask; it also encourages people not to wear their PPE properly, in the hope of relieving the pain; and, in a worse case scenario, severe sore skin could mean that healthcare workers won't be able to work.
What can you do about it?
We’ve got some effective skincare tips for looking after sore or damaged skin.
Why is Skin Salvation a good choice as a barrier balm?
- Skin Salvation is an oil-based ointment, so it’s unlikely to sting even very sore, raw or broken skin
- The beeswax forms a semi-occlusive protective barrier over broken or fragile skin
- This barrier acts as if it were the skin’s own barrier function, locking moisture in and keeping irritants out
- It’s rich in the essential fatty acids that skin needs for its natural cycle of regeneration and repair
- It is unscented and free from the synthetic ingredients that can aggravate sensitive or inflamed skin
- Unlike paraffin-based emollients, it isn’t flammable!
Skin Salvation with hemp seed oil, beeswax and calendula, from £7.99 for 30ml
Balmonds Rosehip Scar Oil with rosehip, lavender and chamomile, £18.99 for 50ml
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.