A face mask is an important tool in controlling the spread of pathogens. They filter out germs that can spread through coughing, talking and inhaling. They can reduce transmission rates by as much as 99% if used correctly. Face masks can be effective when used correctly.
Here are some reasons why you may not get the most from your face mask.
1. When in use, keep your face mask on.
Avoid touching face masks. Wearers of face masks are more likely to contact them than those who wash their hands. An antimicrobial mask is a face mask that prevents the growth of microbes from the fabric’s surface. This will keep your face safe.
2. Use an overused or unsuitable face mask
When face masks are damaged, soiled or contaminated they lose their effectiveness. Disposable face masks should be used for no more than one day. After that, they should be thrown away. If properly maintained, N95 masks can be reused up to five times.
To keep your cloth masks clean, you must wash them after each use. You can wash them with tap water. It is easy to rinse it and dry it. After drying, place it in a container or bag that can be resealable.
3. A face mask should not be worn properly
To get the best out of your face mask, there are correct ways to wear it. To avoid cross-contamination, wash your hands before you put it on. You must cover your nose, mouth and chin with the face mask. It should not be worn under your chin or hanging from one ear. Your face mask should be snugly fitted around your cheeks. Don’t let your mask touch any unsanitary surfaces. Properly using a face mask can reduce the possibility of spreading pathogens.
4. Use a face mask with low filtration efficacy
Face masks should have multiple layers of filter to maximize their filtration efficiency. Although they have fewer filters than N95 or surgical masks, DIY or cloth masks can still protect you against infection as long as they’re of high quality. Cloth masks should be tightly woven and made of breathable material. Hold your face mask up to bright light to test it. The light should not pass through your face mask. Low-quality filters can increase your chance of getting infected.
5. Consistently wearing a face mask
Face masks must be used consistently to prevent the transmission of disease. If they aren’t worn consistently or correctly, face masks lose their effectiveness. Face masks should be worn in any public place where infection risk is high.
6. Use a face mask with an exhalation valve
The World Health Organization doesn’t recommend respirators or masks that have exhalation valves. These masks are for industrial workers who may be exposed to toxic inhalants. They prevent dust and particles from being inhaled because the exhalation valves automatically close when they inhale. These masks are not beneficial in the context of microbiological transmission because they would allow pathogens to still pass through the valve opening.
7. Sharing Face Masks
Face masks should be used by one person only. They shouldn’t be shared under any circumstances as cross-contamination can lead to further injury. You can avoid any pathogens that may have stuck to your face mask from spreading to another person by using your own. You can also protect yourself from microbes that might be transmitted by wearing a face mask of another person.
8. Use the wrong type of face mask
Many types of face masks can be used for different purposes. The wrong type of mask can make you more susceptible to infection and could even be wasteful. Cloth masks, for example, are not recommended to be used in high-risk settings such as hospitals. N95 masks may not be appropriate to be worn in low-risk areas or settings with low infectious transmission.
Face masks act as a barrier to pathogens and prevent the spread of microbial infections. To ensure your safety and that face masks are effective, it is important to follow the guidelines.
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