What happens if you sleep with a face mask on?
Putting on face masks is foreign to the body. A mask encumbers breathing and compels one to inhale minimal oxygen than normal and also breathe back in some carbon dioxide. The mask can also protect the user from an infection, and all microbes that travel through the air such as dust, bacteria, or viruses. The government has made it compulsory to put on a face mask in public settings as a health mediation to reduce the transmission of coronavirus. Putting on of face masks is extensively discussed globally by professionals, putting on a face mask is one thing but there has been no precautionary fundamental analysis on the prospectively detrimental aftermath of such intervention.
Several pieces of research and analysis have formed the following postulations; here are some of the probable side effects of putting on masks for long periods; for instance overnight.
Decreased immune system
There are researches stipulate that low oxygen levels in the tissues; hypoxia can smother some facets of the immune response. Passably, it can also influence and feature other crucial functions of the immune cells. Scientific research has manifested that an extended declination of enough oxygen in the body can incapacitate the ability of the immune system to block infections. It is advised that during this period that putting on of face mask is mandatory, it is wise to take off the mask when away from people or maintain a distance of up to six meters. The aged and younger people wearing a mask are said more at risk.
Face masks make breathing more difficult; for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: COPD, face masks are very unbearable to wear as it worsens their breathlessness. Besides, a fragment of carbon dioxide emitted is inbreathed at each respiratory sequence. The two situations shoot up breathing momentum and depth and automatically escalate the amount of inbreathed and emitted air. Now, this may aggravate the burden of the coronavirus if infected people putting on masks spread more polluted air. This may also intensify the clinical condition of infected people if the enhanced breathing pushes the viral heap down into their lungs. According to Lazzarino, face masks make breathing intensely aggravating for people with COPD that is a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which causes a minimized airflow thereby heightening their breathlessness. It is therefore a near-death sentence wearing a face mask to sleep, especially for individuals with underlying ailment although that is not to say it is healthy for others either.
It is best to moisturize your skin if you have dry skin before wearing a mask as this can help avert skin irritation at the point where the mask rubs your face. The type of fabrics used in making the face masks may cause itchiness, allergies, and redness on the skin. Through time, custom made cloth masks gradually become saturated with makeup, sweat, and beauty products, pollen, automotive exhaust, and any particles floating in the air. The allergic tendency is a side effect and that nullifies keeping the face mask on overnight absolutely because it will only heighten the state of skin irritation.
The impact of the coronavirus on the globe cannot be underestimated; give or take life has taken a different form. This impactful change will stay with us for a long while. After the spread of the new coronavirus all over the world, big organizations such as the World Health Organization made recommendations: wearing face masks; social distancing, and governments the world over implemented these measures compulsory. Though these measures are momentary requisitions, they have side effects. Wearing masks for an extended time frame has already been associated with breathing issues. However, a new side effect, referred to as ‘maskne’, is being affirmed by some individuals.
It is important to note that 'maskne' is NOT a medical term. It was fabricated currently to indicate to the acne being caused by extended wearing of facemasks. People who wear masks for too long or overnight, such as media experts, healthcare workers, or shopkeepers who deal with the populace throughout the day get all sweaty beneath their masks. This is what leads to the formation of acne on the skin, which is now being referred to as 'maskne'. Oily glands present on the surface of our skin release sebum, which is essential to provide the skin with water and defense. If these glands get highly stimulated, they give out excess sebum which stops the process of getting rid of skin cells thereby making these skin cells block the hair follicles, entrapping the sebum. It is the blocked pores that cause the growth of the bacteria that causes acne.
So, putting on a facemask for a lengthy period causes the face to get sweaty. The heat caused sweat along with the friction also caused by the mask translates to blocked pores. Moreover, the sweat that stays on the skin for long or all night encourages the growth of acne-causing bacteria because bacteria bloom in moist areas.
To avert such break out of skin allergies like acne, rash and other skin discomforts, make effort to do the following:
- Ensure to get 100% pure cotton face mask because the skin can breathe even while the mask is on.
- Regular laundering or washing of your face mask is advised to avert Coronavirus and also because the oil and dirt from your face will continue to accumulate on the mask and it is not healthy.
- Clean your face with a mild cleanser two times daily. Make use of an oil-free moisturizer for the skin health of your face to keep it moist.
- When staying at home, keep your face free so your facial skin can breathe.
- Ensure to eat healthily and avoid spicy or oily food because you tend to sweat more when you ingest such food thereby making your skin acne-prone.
Conclusively, putting on a face mask for an extended period whether during the hours of the day or overnight is not healthy either way but the risk to your overall health is higher when you wear it to sleep.