Conditions

Why you should wear a face mask

Studies have shown that many people who have Coronavirus (Covid-19) may not show any symptoms right away while others may experience mild or no symptoms whatsoever.

This means you could carry the virus unknowingly and pass it on to other people.

Covid-19 is spread via water droplets. So, when infected people talk, cough or sneeze, these droplets can then fall onto surfaces, which other people may come into contact with.

New evidence has arisen from the World Health Organization which may suggest aerosols (small particles in the air) as a potential vector of Covid-19 transmission.

If this is the case, it would mean that an infected individual need not cough directly on a person or surface for another person to pick up the virus. Instead, the virus could linger in the air of enclosed spaces, such as pubs and shops.

This is why wearing a face covering is so important. By wearing something over your nose and mouth, you are creating a barrier against these droplets and limiting the risk of spreading any further germs. This ultimately helps to keep you from spreading Covid-19 to other people.

How effective are face masks?

A new study claims that by wearing a face mask you can reduce your risk of being infected with Covid-19 by 65%. It is especially important to wear a face mask in places where you will be in proximity to other people, such as when out shopping or on public transport.

While some masks offer better protection than others, the UK government simply advise a face covering, allowing the use of readily available items such as a scarf or bandanna.

The government say:

“Evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you. However, if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms, it may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with.”

Aside from wearing a mask, it's also important to know how to safely put on and take off face masks. Knowing this can prevent you from accidentally infecting yourself or other people.

Do I need to wear a mask?

wearing a mask in a shopFace coverings are compulsory on all forms of public transport in England and should also be worn by staff, outpatients and visitors in hospitals. People going to the shops are also advised to wear a face mask if social distancing is not possible.

From the 24th of July, face coverings will also be compulsory in shops. Failure to comply with these new measures can result in a fine to the tune of £100. You may be denied entry into an establishment if you are not donning a face covering too, so it's important to be prepared for this.

In Scotland, face masks are already mandatory on all public transport and shops.

In Wales, people are being advised to wear non-medical face coverings where social distancing is not possible but it is not compulsory.

In Northern Ireland, plans to make wearing face masks on public transport compulsory have been put on hold for now pending legal clarification.

What Type of Face Mask/Face Covering is Best to Use?

While those in the healthcare profession, such as doctors and nurses, are being advised to don medical grade, FFP3 face masks, the public are advised to wear more simple face coverings, such as surgical masks.

Surgical Face Masks

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You can also make your own face coverings from an old t-shirt, scarves, bandanna's or other fabric. The government published detailed instructions on how to make a home-made face mask online.

However, wearing a face mask is more difficult if you have sensitive skin as it can cause or aggravate skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and eczema.

Do Face Masks Cause Acne?

Due to the moist, humid environment, caused by wearing a face mask, it traps sweat, natural oils and dead skin and it can lead to a break out of acne.

This acne has been given the nickname 'maskne' – a contraction of mask and acne. If you have been suffering from maskne, please read our recent blog post, How To Avoid Acne From Wearing Face Masks for advice.

We also offer a range of acne treatments that are available to order online and can be delivered to you the next day.

You can also ask a pharmacist about over-the-counter treatments which can help to reduce your acne symptoms. They will be able to advise you on the most suitable treatment for your skin type.

If nothing is helping ease your maskne, or it is getting worse, then make an appointment to see your doctor. They will be able to advise you further on treatments which might be more suitable for your skin.

Who Is Exempt From Wearing Face Mask/Face Covering?

It is important to be aware that there are certain people who may not be able to wear any type of face mask or covering due to health and environmental reasons such as:

  • If they have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means they cannot put on, wear or remove a face mask.
  • If putting on, wearing or removing a face mask causes them severe distress.
  • If they are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip-reading to communicate.
  • If they are travelling to avoid injury or to escape the risk of harm and do not have a face mask with them.
  • If they need to remove it during their journey to avoid harm or injury or the risk of harm or injury to themselves or others.
  • If they need to eat, drink or take medication then they can remove their face mask.
  • If they are asked to remove their face mask by a police officer or any other official, for example to check their railcard.

For people with breathing difficulties such as asthma, Asthma UK have stated they can try to use another fabric, such as a scarf or bandanna, or a home-made face mask, opposed to a medical type face mask.

However, if it makes them feel more breathless or suffocated, the Government has advised that they don’t have to wear one.

You can find Government guidance online where there is a full list of people who are exempt from wearing a face mask.

If you are still unsure about the use of face masks, The World Health Organization (WHO) have detailed advice for the public on when and how to use face masks.

For those looking to buy a face mask, you can buy them online from our website. We offer a next-day delivery on all orders from our UK based pharmacy. All our masks are high quality.