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What you need to know about masks

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2020-03-03

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It is indisputable that mask wearing has made a great contribution for everyone in the battle against the novel coronavirus pneumonia, or COVID-19 epidemic.

As some low-risk areas have seen a remission of the disease, you may ask, "Can I take off my mask right now?"

Hold on - please delay your answer until you have browsed the following 10 Q&As on masks.

Q: Has the intense supply of masks been eased?

A: From the perspective of masks supply, the national production capacity of masks has been greatly boosted. A current yield of more than 54 million masks per day, roughly three times more than just after the Spring Festival holiday, effectively and partly eases the tensions of masks supply and demand. But it doesn't mean "we already have as many masks as you want" right now.

Q: Can I take off my mask if I am living in low-risk areas?

A: Low-risk areas are by no means no-risk areas. Some have just shifted from high-risk and medium-risk to low-risk. Local residents should continue personal protection and avoid unnecessary gatherings.

Q: Is it necessary to change masks frequently?

A: It is completely unnecessary to wear N95 medical masks at home, and people who have contacted fewer than one or two people in a day do not need to change masks every hour. It is highly recommended for everyone to reduce unnecessary waste.

Q: What kinds of places do not require a mask?

A: In any open, well-ventilated, no crowded place, you don't have to wear a mask. There is also no need for mask wearing in wide outdoor fields.

Q: Is it correct that an authentic mask has a nonflammable middle layer?

A: Whether a mask is flammable or not is not the standard for identifying the authenticity of a mask. Believing rumors will bring you nothing but waste your resources.

Q: How to prevent skin damage caused by wearing a mask?

A: 1. A wide edge mask and one with strings instead of ear-hooks will be a great option for you to reduce the pressure on your face. 2. A person with sensitive skin must read the instructions before using the mask and avoid using it if it contains any composition that causes an allergic skin reaction. 3. Appropriately readjust the mask every 2-3 hours and change its position to reduce the pressure on certain parts of the skin. 4. Use preventative dressings in advance to relieve pressure in areas that are often under pressure, such as the nose and cheeks and the skin behind the ears.

Q: How to treat skin that already appears bruised?

A: 1. Generally speaking, there is no need for treatment if you only have mild indentation on your face. 2. If the indentation is a little heavier, or appears to be local congestion or a subcutaneous hemorrhage, you can apply an external ointment which can improve the skin's blood circulation. 3. In case of red swelling or ulceration, topical antimicrobial ointment can be added, and band-aids or certain dressings can be used moderately in the damaged areas. 4. If the skin appears soft or wrinkled or has other symptoms mainly caused by local moisture, you can use zinc oxide or Vaseline contained moisturizer before wearing a mask to keep the skin dry and reduce local friction. 5. If the injury is aggravated or shows signs of a serious infection or allergic reaction, you should definitely go to the hospital for professional help.

Q: Is it true that wearing a mask makes acne worse?

A: During the epidemic prevention and control period, wearing a mask is a daily request for everyone, but masks may form a relatively closed environment on the face. The moist skin can cause bacteria to breed, which easily aggravates into acne.

It is suggested that everybody pay attention to facial cleanliness, and remove makeup immediately after going home, choosing the facial cleanser that suits their skin. Please eat less spicy and sweet food, keep a healthy diet and get regular sleep.

Q: What can I do if my acne becomes worse?

A: Never use your hand to squeeze your acne or pimples. If there are obvious white head and blackhead pimples emerging, you can use retinoic acid ointment. This medicine is photosensitive so use it before bedtime.

If the symptoms worsen and red areas appear on your face, topical antibiotics can be used. Pay attention to avoid bringing polluted things from your hands to your eyes or mouth.

If the acne increases to a moderate level antibiotics can usually be applied for long-term treatment. As these drugs have certain side effects or contraindications, it is recommended to use them under the guidance of a doctor.

Q: What is more important than a mask in the fight against the epidemic?

A: In the short term, mask is really important as a "shield". However, in the long run, personal immunity is more important than masks, so a sound lifestyle is the "hard core". Keep getting regular exercise and maintain a good state of mind, as this is the cure of the disease.

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