It certainly takes time to get used to CPAP therapy. The CPAP machine, CPAP masksand tubing suddenly become bedtime partners, and patients need time to get used to this fact. However, sooner or later, patients get used to the machine and sleep peacefully while using it the whole night.
Moreover, the CPAP treatment dramatically helps reduce sleep apnea and provides a comfortable experience when sleeping at night. However, with regular use, sometimes, the masks may cause some irritation. The different types of skin irritations include pressure marks, acne, rashes, sores, among others. These are not significant concerns but minor issues that can be easily avoided by knowing the right tips and the ways to use the mask. In this blog, we discuss the top ways to prevent irritation on the skin while using CPAP masks.
Cause of CPAP Mask Irritation
The manufacturer follows all the government and medical guidelines while manufacturing full face CPAP masks. They make the mask as comfortable as possible for the patients. However, every individual has different facial features, sizes, and skin sensitivity levels. Therefore, manufacturers try their best to make masks that fit perfectly on most face and skin types. However, since no face or skin is created equal, some patients face problems such as irritation when using the CPAP mask.
One primary method of preventing irritation when using the CPAP full face mask is to try different mask sizes and choose the mask that perfectly fits the dimensions of your face. However, sometimes, masks may cause irritation.
Causes of Irritation With the Full Face Mask
● The cushions of the mask are made of silicone to provide greater comfort. However, this could cause problems for some patients with sensitive skin. At the same time, some people may have an allergy to silicone.
● These cushions, over time, break down and become uncomfortable and abrasive, making usage difficult.
● Full face CPAP masks may not be clean and dirty, as they collect skin cells, oil, bacteria, dust and many more with regular use.
● The mask may have been tightened too much onto the face, increasing the pressure on the nose, cheeks, chin, and skin.
● The mask may be inappropriate or incorrect for some people’s faces. The patient may need to change the size of the mask or opt for a different kind of mask that perfectly fits their facial features.
● If the patient has oily skin, then the CPAP full face maskmay slide while sleeping at night. This may cause skin irritation.
● The humidifier may be causing the mask to rain out. In this case, the moisture gets collected inside the tube, which splashes onto the face, causing skin irritation.
Causes of Irritation with a Nasal Pillow Mask
● The nasal pillow mask may be incorrect or of the wrong size
● The air flowing through the mask tubing may be arid
● The nasal pillow might have been placed too far into the nose.
How to prevent irritation with a CPAP mask?
If you are experiencing irritation in your skin while using the CPAP mask, you do not need to worry. Unfortunately, many people do experience skin irritation with daily use of the CPAP mask. However, you could implement various things at home that can help reduce the pain, chafing, and irritation and help you get a good night's sleep with CPAP therapy. The top tips to prevent skin irritation when using the CPAP mask include:
● Buy proper fitting masks with the help of sizing templates as a reference. The templates will help you determine which size to buy by measuring the features of your face.
● Keep an alternate mask as a backup if you find it difficult to adjust to the initially bought mask.
● Loosen the headgear of the CPAP masks. The mask must sit gently on the face. The mask should not be tightened too much into place.
● Routinely clean the CPAP mask with the help of water, soap, and CPAP wipes. This will get rid of the infectious pathogens.
● Do not place the nasal pillows very far inside the nostril. The pillow must sit on the edge of the nose.
● If the mouth and the nostrils are getting dry consistently, then you need to use the nasal pillow mask with the humidifier. The humidifier adds moisture into the pressurised air that passes into your airways. This prevents drying of the nose and the mouth.
● Prevent the drain out of CPAP by placing the CPAP machine at a lower level than the head when sleeping. Also, adjust the bedroom temperature to warmer settings or adjust the settings of the humidifier to warmer settings. Finally, you can cover the tubing with a blanket to make the air in the tube warmer.
● Replace the CPAP supplies routinely as per the replacement schedule that accompanies the machine. For example, you can make arrangements to have CPAP supplies shipped to you routinely by signing up for a prescription programme or keep a backup of all the essential CPAP supplies.
These are the top ways to avoid skin irritation when using CPAP masks. However, if you want a suitable fitting CPAP mask, please Shop on MyCPAP today.