Face mask are now utilized for preventing the spread of viral disease. They may also be known as isolation or surgical masks. Face masks are loose-fitting masks that are rectangular in shape. The mask contains ties or bands that can be looped at the back of the head. For covering nose and mouth it may have a metal strip on top of it.

Structure of Surgical Mask

A correctly worn surgical mask may help to reduce or block transmission of microorganisms from droplets, sprays and swashes. The mask also reduces hand to face contact. Surgical masks has three layers which work as follows.

  • The outer layer holds off water, blood and other body fluid
  • The middle layer filters definite pathogens
  • The inner layer mops up moisture and sweat from exhaled air

When to wear a mask?

The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests using surgical mask

  • While suffering from fever, cough or other respiratory disorders
  • To protect you self from other ill persons if you work within 6 feet or closer to the person who is ill

Which mask is suitable to use?

FDA suggests to wear face mask whenever you need to go out in public. FDA does not recommend the use N95 face mask use for the general public. As first, if one does not wear it properly, then it will be unable to filter out the small air born particles that cause illness. Secondly, medical staff needs them the most and due to short of supply, general public should use normal face masks. Because of its efficiency and protective nature, N95 face mask is highly recommended for the people who are medical professionals.

How to put on a mask?

Before putting on the mask you should wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap.

First check the mask defects such as torn or broken strips.

Place the color side of the mask outward.

If Mask contains ear loops, place one loop on each ear.

If mask contains ties, hold the mask by the upper strings. Tie the both strings near the nape of your neck.

Pull the base of the mask around your face and chin.

Make sure the mask fits comfortably.

Don’t touch the mask once it positioned. If the mask gets stained or damp replace it by new one.

What to avoid while putting on a mask?

  • Do not touch the mask once it is secured on the face as it may have germs on it
  • Avoid hanging the mask on one ear
  • Do not swing the mask around the neck 
  • Don’t crisscross the tie
  • Do not reuse the disposable mask

How to discard a face mask?

Take it off through unhooking the loops by untying the bottom first.

Hold the mask from loops, tie or bands, discard the mask by putting it in a covered trash bin.

After removing the mask wash your hands carefully, or use sanitizer.

Cover Photo by Anna Shvets

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