5 face mask mistakes you are making daily

5 face mask mistakes you are making daily
Face masks have been proven to stop the spread of viruses like COVID-19, but don't work unless they're used correctly.

Are you aware of these common face mask mistakes? Protect yourself and others by reading up on the dos and don’ts of face masks.

1. Touching your mask

While it can be easy to fiddle and adjust your face mask, try to avoid touching it once you are wearing it as it can lead to contamination.

“If you contaminate your mask even from the outside, you can get easily infected,” says physician Dimitar Marinov.

2. Not cleaning it

If you’re using a reusable face mask, you should be routinely cleaning it.

The Ministry of Health recommends washing face masks in a washing machine with detergent at 60°C. Dry the mask thoroughly before using it again.

3. Taking it off incorrectly

“Taking off your face mask and then reapplying it with contaminated hands can move the bacteria or virus directly into the breathable area,” says Jared Heathman, MD.

Remember to wash your hands before taking off your face mask so as to avoid any contamination.

The Ministry of Health advises holding the masks by the loops and pulling them away from your face. Try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth when removing it and wash your hands again.

4. Wearing the wrong size

It’s important to make sure your mask fits your face the right way, otherwise it won’t be as effective.

Masks that are too small will leave your chin or nose exposed and if it’s too loose, particles can easily spread through the gaps.

Rule of thumb: the mask should be fitted snugly around your face and cover the area from your nose to your chin.

5. Re-using medical masks

Medical masks, unlike fabric ones, are only designed to be worn once. Do no re-use medical masks or try to disinfect them.

Safely dispose of the mask by putting in a lidded bin or in a sealed bag in a rubbish bin.

READ MORE: Face shields vs face masks: which is best?


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