A burning issue of the current world is surgical face mask or medical mask. Because of the recent outbreak of COVID-19, it is considered temporary protection in the virus affected areas. Along with various suggestions on the use of facial masks, wrong information is also spreading just like flu.
Not every site is providing authentic information on this topic. In a time of crisis like this, this mask issue has been a marketing policy for some dealers. Therefore, here we are, at your service to provide you with the best quality mask and reliable instructions on the use of surgical face mask.
In this article, we will try to give a proper intro on the surgical face mask and focus on its accurate usage. To protect yourself from all the possible virus attacks, consciousness is also important. That is why, from this feature, you will also gain knowledge about how a face mask works actually and whether you should use it or not.
How Does a Surgical Face Mask Work
There are some differences in traditional face mask and surgical face mask. Not all face masks can deliver the protection level of surgical ones.
A surgical mask normally hampers the ways of large molecular droplets and liquid splatters. On the other hand, a normal face mask comes with various designs but none of them is effective enough to filter small air particles that pass from airborne disease holders.
Generally, the main purpose of wearing a surgical mask is to avoid the direct contact of bacteria form in liquid droplets during surgery and nursing activities. It covers the mouth and nose of the user. They are usually known in different names like surgical, segregation, and medical procedure masks
East Asian countries like China, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, people frequently use surgical masks to prevent taking airborne dust particles with breathing. Also, it is popular to limit the chances of airborne diseases like seasonal flu, tuberculosis, influenza, etc. Moreover, the increasing level of air pollution is the reason, which compels the people mainly in South and Southeast Asia to use surgical masks and air filtering face masks outside the home.
However, a surgical face mask is not a registered solution to get the protection from airborne bacteria or virus molecules. Because of its loose fit, often toxic elements and germs can pass through it. Hence, it is not recommended to use it as the alternative of a respirator like an N95 or FFP mask. They are designed specially and more effective because of their size and material. Moreover, the tight-fitting and seal of it around the users’ nose and cheeks offer more safety.
Now the question is, how does a surgical mask work on flu protection or more specifically on COVID-19 protection?
Surgical face masks are a comparatively easy solution for the problem of germ spreading. Though a normal surgical mask works mildly on this purpose, it can be an add-on protection layer for people with the usual cold or flu. Normally, a person with a regular cold and cough can affect others when he/she talks or sneezes. It can happen if they do not cover their faces while coughing and sneezing frequently. This may result in the discharge of tiny drops into the air, which is enough for transmitting the disease to others. Therefore, that means, people with these particular health issues should wear a face mask to protect the persons who come with close contact with them. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) report, COVID-19 affected people must use face masks to avoid the risk of spreading this virus.
Doctors, nurses, associated health care providers of Coronavirus patients and people with close contact with the affected patients should also carry masks. For utmost safety, disposal of surgical masks after a single use is necessary.
According to the CDC recommendation, physically fit people do not need to wear any face mask to avoid respiratory diseases and also coronavirus (COVID-19). However, they can wear it in case of attending a public gathering and visiting hospitals.
Some pet owners are also worried about their pet’s health. According to the CDC recommendation, COVID-19 affected patients should not be in close contact with any other animal. Additionally, it is a better solution than using a pet's face mask.
The procedure of wearing a surgical mask properly
Besides the disposal of face masks, mask replacement should be considered frequently when you are outside the home. Remove your mask when it becomes damp and replace it with a new one.
Whenever you buy surgical face masks, it is necessary to know how to wear it. This is because improper knowledge of this fact can make situations worse for you. Moreover, you must check the storage space of these masks before purchase. If instructions for using the masks are not present, then take a look at the following steps.
- At first, you should wash your hands properly with soap and water. Liquid soap may work well in this aspect. If you are out of home then always carry hand sanitizer. Before you take out the mask and touch it, do not forget to use hand sanitizer.
- Before you use a face mask, check it properly if there are any holes or manufacturing errors. You should check both sides of the mask.
- It is important to confirm the top side of the mask as this side will fit your nose. The stiff elastic border of the mask is the top side to cover your nose area firmly.
- The next part is to find the front part of the mask. The disposable surgical masks usually have a colored side and a whitish side. The light-colored part is the front part and this side will face the outside air. On the other hand, the white part will be at the contact of your nose and mouth.
Now there are some directions for different kinds of face mask users. Various types are available at the market or online. It depends on your preference but you should remember that protection comes first. Try to choose the best type for you and your family.
Face mask with Earloops: This is the most common type of face mask. It needs to be put on by placing the loops around the ears. While wearing it, you should not touch the mask part. Just hold the two loops with two hands and wear it.
Face mask with Ties: This type contains ties. If your city has a lower temperature and you need to cover your ears while going out, these types of masks can suit well with you. Hold the mask ties and bring it to the nose level. Bend the ties around the top of your head and attach it with a knot. While using this type of mask, you should pull the bottom ties of the mask after wearing it. Then the mask will stretch and give more coverage.
Face mask with Bands: This type of mask gives you more protection than the above two types. It contains both belt and ties. To wear it, hold the mask with clean hands. You should grasp the mask top with your fingertips. While you are holding it at your nose level with one hand, use another hand to attach the upper band over your head top. In addition, for the lower tie, pull it around the neck and fasten over your head. You should press the mask area firmly that covers your nose. This trick will help to fit the mask properly.
How to Remove Your Surgical Face mask
Wearing and removing face masks both are equally important. If you wear a face mask with proper rules but do not take precautions while removing it, there is a chance of infection. As you already know, when you are using a disposable face mask, you can use it for one time only.
- The hand washing part should be repeated. It is mandatory in both sections. You can use soap, hand wash or hand sanitizer, which is available to you.
- Do not touch the front part of your mask. As this part is exposed to the outside air, it is fully covered with germs. To remove your mask, just touch the ties or bands of your mask.
Here are the instructions to follow for different kinds of masks.
Face mask with Earloops: To remove the mask, just lightly hold the ear loops and take out the mask. Avoid touching both the inner and outer surface of the mask.
Face mask with ties: You should follow the reverse technique while removing the ties. The lower tie should be untied first in this case. Then slowly unknot the upper curve and take it out from your mouth.
Face mask with bands: Unfasten the lower belt first. Then you can remove the upper band, which is over the top of your head.
After the removal and disposal process, you must wash your hand again whether you touch the mask surface or not. If you find your mask damaged, wet or have trouble breathing, these are the signs that you should remove your mask now. You should also ensure safe dispose of it. Put the used masks in trash bags to discard them. That way, it will increase the safety of you and others.