Face masks can trigger bouts of ECZEMA in people with sensitive skin and allergies, study warns
- Medics discuss the case of a a 60-year-old man with a history of skin allergies
- Reported to his doctors with eczema on his face and could not identify the issue
- Doctors realised the flare-ups are at the same place on his face as his mask sits
- Steroids got rid of the rash and after switching to a cotton-based, dye-free masks without elastic the rash did not return
People with sensitive skin may be at risk of eczema flare-ups triggered by wearing a face mask.
Medics reveal a 60-year-old man with a history of several skin allergies suffered a bout of dermatitis brought on by his mask.
After initially struggling to diagnose the root of the issue, doctors realised it was the elastic bands of his face mask which was the cause.
People with sensitive skin and allergies may be at risk of eczema triggered by the wearing of a face mask brought on by a reaction to the elastic, doctors say (stock photo)
The patient was diagnosed with a case of contact dermatitis, a form of eczema fuelled by a reaction to a substance or material.
The American man was put on medication with prednisone, a regular anti-allergy drug, before the mask issue was spotted.
But this was ineffective and the man later returned to his doctors with the issue.
After identifying the location on the face was in the same place as a mask sits, the doctors speculated the form of PPE may be to blame.
A challenging case study shows face masks with elastic bands may lead to flare-ups and people with sensitive skin who are prone to eczema should consider using cotton-based, dye-free masks without elastic (stock)
Mask embedded with antiviral copper ‘kills 90% of coronavirus particles’
Some doctors in Britain will be able to wear specialised masks with a nanocopper layer that kills the coronavirus by the end of the year.
Face masks are worn to stop coronavirus, and other pathogens, from spreading.
But the virus can survive on its surface if not disinfected or disposed of correctly.
Dr Gareth Cave says the first masks will be produced later this month and be commercially available in December.
The material kills 90 per cent of coronavirus particles in less than an hour.
‘We realised that his rash appeared right where the elastic parts of a mask would rest,’ said allergist Dr Kristin Schmidlin, co-author of the paper.
‘We tapered down the prednisone and advised him to use a topical steroid and a topical immunosuppressant until the rash resolved.
‘We also told him to use cotton-based, dye-free masks without elastic. At a follow up telephone visit one week later, the patient said his rash continued to improve.’
The challenging case study shows those with elastic bands may lead to flare-ups, said Dr Dhamija.
The findings are presented at the annual Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology meeting.
It follows recent UK research that has identified unprecedented rates of occupational dermatitis among healthcare workers.
Most coverings, including the 3-ply and KN95 masks, are made from non-woven materials which are felt-like in composition.
Experts say these materials tend to cause micro friction damage, causing some mild to moderate discomfort, particularly in those with sensitive skin.
The coverings help prevent transmission of the virus. But wearing them for long periods can feel uncomfortable and have been linked to acne breakouts.
They can cause further problems for those with skin allergies, Dr Dhamija told a virtual American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology meeting.