Using CPAP equipment to treat sleep apnea may provide immediate advantages such as decreased drowsiness, increased energy, and mood enhancement. While CPAP therapy may help reduce or eliminate serious health concerns, such as certain cardiovascular disorders, there are some minor drawbacks, most of which involve irritation. Dry eyes, nasal congestion, and CPAP markings or lines on your face are common side effects, so let’s explain how to avoid marks on your face from your CPAP mask so you don’t stop your treatment.
Finding the Best Mask for You
When you first receive the news that you need a CPAP machine, your brain might be in a fog, overwhelmed by the diagnosis and how sleeping with a mask could affect you. Fortunately, there isn’t a universal mask that everyone must wear to treat their sleep apnea, as there are three options: a full-face, nasal pillow, and nasal mask.
Learning the pros and cons of each mask helps you narrow down the style that works best for you, especially regarding marks on your face. Each type of mask generates varying amounts of friction on your face. Try to find a mask that doesn’t rub against your face because the constant contact will leave irritating blemishes.
Your skin produces less collagen as you age, so a small mask is your best bet. A smaller mask will lessen the volume and depth of creases throughout your face. Your sleep specialist should know what mask suits you best, so start with their recommendation first.
For the persistent mouth-breather, a full-face mask is the only option to ensure that you get the proper airflow while you sleep. Otherwise, you won’t reap the benefits of what your CPAP device provides. If you require a full-face mask, facial markings are inevitable, but there are remedies you can follow that we’ll touch on later.
Readjusting the Fit
Even if you know you have the correct mask, you still might wake up to discover your face has markings all over it. Before ditching the recommended mask, try these remedies that may fix your issues.
Higher pressure levels typically necessitate a snug mask, potentially irritating your skin. Initially, evaluate your mask’s fitting and your headgear’s stiffness. The mask should be snug but not painfully so. Once you’ve checked that the mask fits comfortably, check the headgear straps since this is frequently the source of imprints.
It may take a little while to tweak the headgear to get the proper fit that limits strap marks and nighttime leaks. Choosing a tight-fitting mask that won’t move or leave gaps will improve your sleep apnea treatment since a better fit equals fewer leaks. If you still can’t establish a good seal after adjusting the tightness, you may need to opt for some accessories that aid you.
Using CPAP Nasal Pillow
Nasal cushions are CPAP masks consisting of plastic inserts that fit directly into the nostrils. A CPAP nasal pillow delivers the appropriate pressure to keep the airway open. These little cushions lay at the tip of the nose and may assist with issues including air leaks and claustrophobia.
Some individuals benefit significantly from nasal pillows. If you have claustrophobia, wearing a giant mask over your face may be uncomfortable, especially if that mask blocks your vision. Nasal pillows may be helpful in this situation since they only slightly restrict your eyesight and do not directly touch your face. And with minimal contact, you should notice fewer markings when you wake up.
Several contributing factors may affect your skin when you have a CPAP mask. Luckily, you can treat any of these circumstances in multiple ways. If you’re still striking out after readjusting or trying various masks, you should explore these products that can work wonders for your face.
Liners create a barrier from your skin rubbing against the mask. They have liners for both full-face masks and nasal pillows. The liners for full-face masks consist of natural cotton fibers that run along your foreheads and cheeks. With these liners protecting you, you will no longer feel the cold silicone touching your face.
Wearing face masks every day during the pandemic taught us many things. One of those things is that the skin around our ears wears down quickly when a strap is rubbing against it constantly. You might suffer the same consequences for CPAP users from wearing your mask every night. Protective ear loops provide supportive padding around your ears to limit dry skin and redness.
Applying CPAP Gel on the Brim of the Mask
CPAP mask gel is a simple solution to this predicament. Squeeze a dime-sized glob onto your fingertip. Apply the gel around the borders of the silicone cushion. Afterward, you may put on the mask and fasten the bands. If you want to improve the seal, add a layer where your face hits the silicone seal to ensure no air leaks.
Moisture may become a problem since it causes inflammation when combined with the mask pressing on your face. This may be itchy, inconvenient, and painful. You may also avoid the stress of migraines and sleeplessness induced by the lack of sleep.
CPAP gel also extends the life of your CPAP mask. When you use a sealant on your CPAP cushions, you successfully inhibit natural oils and moisture from causing the silicone to disintegrate.
Getting a New Mask
If the problem continues and you experience bruises, blisters, discoloration at the contact area, or scarring, see your sleep care physician about a new mask option tailored to your specific requirement. Several options are available, including masks that don’t require headgear or contain different materials to help circumvent problems.
As you now know, there are many ways your CPAP mask can make your life more difficult. While trying these things is integral in reducing the marks it leaves, nothing is more vital than consistently cleaning it. The best way to avoid marks on your face from your CPAP mask is by rinsing, drying, and repeating this process as recommended.
CPAPnation has plenty of cleaning devices in stock and accessories to help give you a good night’s sleep. Receive a special discount when you subscribe to us with your e-mail address, saving you some money while improving your well-being.