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Over-the-counter face masks can cause skin allergies




There have been some complaints about wearing a face mask during this pandemic, including the risk of hypoxia and low oxygen levels. Another concern is from people with skin allergies. The medical challenges of masks that cause contact dermatitis have recently become American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting..

Allergist Yashu dhamija A student at the University of Cincinnati presented a case study of a 60-year-old man with adult-onset eczema, contact dermatitis, and chronic nasal allergies. He arrived in the hospital’s emergency room three times because of a facial rash. After treatment, Damiya’s team determined that the rash had been caused after starting to wear a face mask in April.

The patient initially prescribed the corticosteroid prednisone to reduce inflammation, but the rash persisted. Allergist Christine Schmidlin said the elastic or rubber part of the mask was where his rash appeared.

Dealing with contact dermatitis

A challenge shared by Dhamija is how to manage patients with skin allergies while protecting them from the coronavirus. Wearing a face mask and other safety measures are still essential, he said.

Patients are prescribed other medications and advised to use a cotton-based dye-free mask without elastic areas, or a mask that “uses the knot tie method around the back of the head to maintain the mask” it was done. A week later, the patient reported that the rash had improved.

Contact dermatitis is complicated because allergic reactions to chemicals are delayed and can appear after a few days. When the reaction is on and off, it becomes difficult to determine if the allergen is from work, home, or anywhere else.

In 2011 Survey, Researchers determined that cases of contact dermatitis increased in the summer and that the top allergens included plants, disinfectants, topical agents, detergents or soaps. Meanwhile, some studies have linked plastic chemicals to skin allergies and asthma.

People with skin allergies can also contact the face mask company and ask the manufacturer of the product in case the label doesn’t provide enough details, Dhamija added. Although it can be mild, some immune responses to allergens can be life-threatening.

People who are unaware of contact dermatitis can take a patch test to determine which allergen causes the reaction after a few days. People with existing allergies can also ask their doctor about other concerns.

Read again: Here’s what you need to know about Apple’s face masks:

Use of alternative masks

Dermatologist Dr. Anna Chen From Johns Hopkins, she shared seeing an increase in patients with peri-mouth dermatitis or rashes around the mouth and chin due to face masks. “Masks made of polyester blends and cotton, such as T-shirts and pillowcase fabrics, are pretty skin-friendly,” she said.

Apart from the plastic band on the side of the mask, people may be allergic to formaldehyde, a chemical that commercial masks are pretreated for disinfection. Others may be allergic to the synthetic fibers or detergents used in washable masks. She recommends that people with skin allergies choose natural fiber cloth masks and use unscented laundry detergent to prevent the development of rashes.

People who are unaware of contact dermatitis can take a patch test to determine which allergen causes the reaction after a few days. People with existing allergies can also ask their doctor about other concerns.

Read again: Face mask that lights up when it detects a coronavirus: Alternatives to antibody testing and temperature checking

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