Skin irritation in CPAP users can have multiple causes, ranging from skin sensitivity to mask fit. Given the variety of causes, skin irritation can happen to anyone at any stage of CPAP therapy.
The good news is, once you identify that the cause of the facial skin irritation is from direct contact with your CPAP mask, you can usually address the problem with one of a few simple remedies.
One thing you shouldn’t do is give up your treatment just because you’re experiencing some skin irritation. Nor should you have to suffer in discomfort in order to get that treatment.
There are a number of things you can do to reduce or eliminate symptoms of skin irritation with your CPAP mask to ensure your comfort and continued therapy success. Here’s a closer look at what to do about CPAP mask skin irritation.
Rule Out Skin Sensitivity
Your skin may be sensitive to silicone or other materials that your mask is made from. While these materials are beneficial for the comfort and fit of your mask, they can cause irritation if you are sensitive to these materials. You may first want to see a dermatologist to determine if you do have this type of sensitivity.
To ensure the best experience with your CPAP mask, make sure that both your skin and your mask are clean. Washing your face with a gentle cleanser before using your CPAP mask can ensure that your skin is free of anything that could cause friction against your mask and helps your mask stay put, reducing irritation.
Cleaning your mask on a regular basis (at least once a week) will also ensure that your mask maintains fit over time and ensures that irritants don’t build up on the surface. Cleaning can also help remove some of the surface chemicals that cause irritation. Use either a mild soap and water solution, or purchase a CPAP mask cleaning solution for best results.
For immediate relief, you can use a CPAP moisture therapy cream meant to reduce chafing, irritation, dryness and cracking when applied to the affected area. Further in this article you'll read about the benefits of using RemZzzs® Mask Liners to aid in the use of a therapy cream.
Ensure the Proper CPAP Mask Fit
A poor CPAP mask fit occurs when the mask is the wrong size, shape, or hasn’t been adjusted properly.
An ill-fitting CPAP mask can dig into parts of your face during your sleep, which can cause your skin to be red and irritated the next morning. This can even cause chaffing in extreme cases. It is a well-known fact that the face produces moisture and oil, which can contribute to the chaffing affect when the mask’s silicone cushion rubs against the skin for several hours.
Work with your sleep therapist to ensure that your mask is a good fit for your face and habits. Be sure to point out the areas on your skin where you’re experiencing irritation so your therapist can help determine if your mask is responsible for the discomfort.
Your therapist may also determine that your mask is in need of replacement if you’ve had it for a while. Over time, the parts of the mask that are in contact with your skin may begin to wear away, causing irritation. Look for signs of wear on your mask.
Try RemZzzs® Soft, Breathable Cotton CPAP Mask Liners
Along with adjusting your mask fit and minimizing skin irritants caused by your mask, there's another option to help solve your CPAP skin irritation issue: RemZzzs® CPAP Mask Liners. They're custom-fitted to almost all of today's most popular mask brands, styles and sizes, and they're made from soft, medical-grade cotton that's breathable.
RemZzzs® liners create a barrier between your face and your CPAP mask that can prevent common causes of skin irritation like poor fit and skin contact with the mask. The soft cotton absorbs facial moisture and oil, eliminating the chaffing effect from direct contact with the mask. If you already are experiencing red irritated skin from your CPAP mask, using a special therapy cream at night with a RemZzzs® Liner will allow the cream to do its work, but will not cause any damage to the silicone mask cushion.
Many RemZzzs® users comment that wearing a Liner is like putting your face on a soft pillow case instead of a cold plastic-covered one...and we agree! If you are interested in seeing for yourself, request a free sample below!