How Long Can You Wear Your Face Masks?

The use of a face mask is a very vital aspect of daily healthcare these days. It is critical to use a face mask correctly, clean it thoroughly, store it securely, and properly dispose of it. Once it’s outside face mask packaging, it has to be used carefully.

Types of Face Masks

Surgical Face Mask

When it comes to droplet precautions, surgical masks, also known as medical masks, are the best choice. Wearing a surgical mask appropriately will help prevent you from many infections.

How Long Can You Keep a Surgical Mask on Your Face?

The longer duration of surgical masks cannot be determined with certainty. Nonetheless, the extended length might range from 4 to 8 hours for a surgical mask.

Is it Possible to Reuse a Surgical Mask?

Surgical masks are single-use devices that you should not use more than once per patient encounter. You must remove the mask and throw it away promptly if it is dirty, or if breathing becomes difficult.

N95 Air Purifying Respirators

Known also as professional-grade medical masks, N95 respirators have to fit the face precisely and firmly. They prevent air from escaping and allow surface contaminants to pass through to the inside. 

It is very efficient in the filtering of airborne particles due to its well-designed construction. They come in custom medicine boxes to keep them sterile.

How long can you keep on wearing an N95 mask?

Following WHO recommendations, the N95 mask may be worn continuously for up to 6 hours.

Is it Possible to Reuse an N95 Mask?

Although an N95 Mask may be reused after decontamination, the efficacy of the mask declines with each subsequent usage. The following are the steps to take while reusing and decontaminating an N95 mask:

When not in use, always keep your N95 mask covered with a plastic bag to prevent it from becoming dirty. In order to reuse an N95 mask, put it in a dry location for 3 to 4 days. It allows it to dry out completely before you use it again.

It is advisable to have at least four masks on hand and to alternate using them on different days. The following are some alternatives for reprocessing:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide in a vaporized state
  • Germicidal irradiation using ultraviolet radiation
  • The heat that is dry or wet
  • The use of Methylene blue dye in conjunction with dry heat

Cloth Mask / Fabric Mask

Although a cotton face mask is not part of personal protective equipment, it may save you from a lot of problems. The general public uses multi-layer fabric masks to prevent the spread of many diseases. 

In addition, persons who have beards may find it difficult to utilize a single mask. They may choose to layer a disposable mask below a cotton mask for more protection.

Is It Possible to Reuse a Cloth or Fabric Mask?

Multi-layer fabric masks prevent the discharge into the environment of both exhaled respiratory particles and germs. Fabric masks, on the other hand, are still under examination for their potential protective impact. 

Moreover, which sort of fabric could be the most successful in preventing the transmission of respiratory infections. After it has been thoroughly cleaned, the mask may be re-used.

What is the best way to safely clean a cloth mask?

You may quite easily launder your cotton mask in a washing machine with any detergent of your choice, according to the manufacturer. After washing the mask in the washing machine, wash your hands well and then dry the masks on a high heat setting.

How to Remove a Face Mask in a Safe Manner?

Remove the mask by pulling it up from the chin; do not touch the mask from the front. To prevent exposure to the droplet, fold the mask in half inwards, then fold it in half again until you have rolled it up completely. 

Wrap the mask in a plastic bag or a piece of paper and throw it in the garbage. Before putting on a fresh mask, make sure you thoroughly wash your hands.


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