masks are important—very important. In fact, they play a crucial role in
the spread and prevention
of COVID-19. But that doesn’t mean mask wearing is without its complications. From
obscured vision and generalized discomfort to skin irritations and restricted
airflow, constantly wearing cloth
masks, N-95 masks, and face shields can cause their own series of problems.
Here are some
of the most common complaints and side effects of wearing masks.
The good news
is there are things you can do to improve your vision and minimize said fog.
Wearing a tighter mask may help. Altering the position of your glasses can
reduce cloudiness, and there are dozens of anti-fog wipes, sprays, and
cleansers now on the market. Drops can also help alleviate the discomfort
caused by dry eyes.
Masks can be a
pain, literally and figuratively, but they don’t have to be. To alleviate
generalized irritations and discomfort, make sure your masks are fitted but not
too tight. Try different variations, i.e. cloth versus disposable, to find
which type works best for you, and avoid materials that are uncomfortable,
bothersome, and/or irritating.
While masks do
not impede our hearing—at least not directly—they do dampen the volume of our
speech, making it harder to communicate with others. Our mouths are also
hidden, which makes it impossible for us to read lips, and this is particularly
difficult for members of the hearing loss community. According to The
Hearing Review, face coverings pose various acoustic
challenges. To overcome this, speak slowly and loudly and supplement with
text and/or email communication, when possible.
it can be difficult to manage these conditions. “Because so many of us need to
wear masks, like myself, for work, avoiding these problems is hard.” However,
Chacon tells Parade there is help and hope. “One way I manage it is by wearing
cotton masks and wearing a new cotton mask daily. It is also important to avoid
wearing makeup under the masks, as this contributes to further breakouts [and
adding] a cleanser with benzoyl peroxide (mild percentage) to your daily
routine is often helpful.”
Bad breath and
seeing more and more oral issues these days and for good reason. “Mouth
breathing leads to a decrease in saliva, which is basically the immune system
for the mouth,” Dr.
Paul Koshgerian, DMD, a board-certified oral surgeon in
San Diego, California, tells Parade. “Certain elements of our saliva clean our
teeth and help fight bad bacteria. When that balance is disrupted, it can
result in bad breath, cavities, and other periodontal issues.”
The good news
is there are things you can do to combat said issues and decay. Breath through
your nose, when possible, and brush your teeth two times a day. Drink more
water and less caffeine, and try alcohol-free mouthwash, mints, and gum that
Presented by: Prof. Mario Lacouture, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer
Centre As advances in breast cancer therapies have improved survival,
novel therapeutics have been introduced for a variety of dermatologic
conditions. Not surprisingly, these therapies cause adaptions of skin, hair,
and nails. Studies have shown that these effects can significantly affect
quality of life and influence the self-image. Chemotherapy-induced
alopecia has an emotional impact on breast cancer patients. For most women,
facing alopecia is the most traumatic and stressful adverse event. Prof. Mario
Lacoutures (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, USA) explained that mild
hair loss is as impactful as losing the hair completely . It is, therefore,
no surprise that permanent alopecia has been associated with depression and
anxiety. Scalp cooling is the most successful therapy in preventing and
reducing chemotherapy-induced alopecia. This technique reduces the scalp’s blood
flow, resulting in a decreased uptake of cytotoxic therapy by the hair
follicles. It was shown to be an effective and safe strategy. Prof. Lacouture
presented his study on the better understanding of dermatologic adverse events
, which aimed to provide adequate support to breast cancer patients. Results
demonstrated an improvement in 80% of women with endocrine therapy-induced
alopecia under topical minoxidin. In addition to minoxidine, Prof. Lacouture’s
phase 1 safety study demonstrated that twice daily application of topical
calcitriol -a vitamin D analog- was well tolerated and safe, and requires
further investigation in phase 2/3 trials .
Lacouture M. Dermatologic
Conditions from Estrogen Inhibition in Breast Cancer Survivors, session
F019: Women’s Health Therapeutic Hotline. AAD VMX 2021, 23-25 April.