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As long as the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, the government requires people to wear face masks when they are outdoors. Indeed, using a face mask provides uncomfortable, but still must be done to prevent transmission of the coronavirus.
Launch Refinery 29, Nate Favini, MD, medical lead at Forward, a concierge medical service, also acknowledging the uncomfortable when wearing a mask. “It’s worth acknowledging that masks are uncomfortable, especially when it's hot and humid. They’re annoying, and I don’t think we should pretend that’s not true. I’m empathetic, but it doesn’t mean that wearing a mask isn’t crucial,” he said.
“Until we have a vaccine, widespread masks are our best defense against this virus," says Natasha Bhuyan, MD, One Medical’s regional medical director.
To make it more comfortable when wearing a mask in hot weather, here are tips from doctors that you can apply, compiled from Refinery 29.
1. Get a More Breathable Mask
Choose one that has more structure than those that lie flat against your mouth. Duckbill masks will provide more space than flat masks. But Dr. Favini cautions that the more breathable a mask is, the less protection it may offer. So if you're going to be indoors or around others, wear a more effective mask, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable.
2. Choose the Right Material
This is especially important if you're getting heat rashes from your mask. “Consider fabrics that are either natural, like cotton, or synthetic fabrics that wick away sweat, such as fabric found in exercise clothing,” says Ted Lain, MD, dermatologist and chief medical officer at Sanova Dermatology.
“The latest recommendation is to use multiple layers of fabric to produce the most effective protective barrier to the virus, so instead of using a thick cotton, consider a thinner cotton fabric but layering it.”
3. Bring Backups
A sweaty mask stinks. So have a few fresh ones in your bag. That way if you sweat through one, you’ll have another at the ready. This can make you more comfortable, and prevent breakouts.
“Sweating and the humidity in the mask area certainly can lead to a dermatitis, or even an acne breakout,” says Dr. Lain. Pack each extra in a clean, sealable plastic baggie so it won't be exposed to any germs before you wear it on your face.