COVID-19 : Tips and tricks to fit the mask correctly

The use of the mask in Spain has been mandatory since the beginning of the summer of 2020, although many people already used it before. Although many have been able to get used to it, the truth is that For the use of the masks to be effective, it is as important not to use them for too long as a correct placement and adjustment that avoids gaps between the face and the protection.

Damn Science explains in an article that the first thing to make sure is to fit the mask to the nose and the upper part of the cheekbones. The Spanish Society of Medicine and Pharmacy recommends press with your fingers the aluminum strip that the masks have along their entire surface.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States exposure to potentially harmful aerosols was reduced by 95% when wearing a tight-fitting mask. On the other hand, the presence of a beard and mustache can hinder the fit of the mask.

Mask-related objects

Many people are tired of their ears hurting from prolonged use of the mask and They use ribbons that are hooked around the back of the head. These may not detract from the effectiveness of the mask filtering. As long as they manage to fit the mask better and not the opposite.

The pharmacist Gemma del Caño explained to Maldita that “people put them under their ears because that way they don’t hurt them “. This achieves “that they fall more, fit worse and are more hollow on the sides “, so it is appropriate to adjust it above the ears.

Some are also starting to be marketed Flexible artificial restraints that fit over the mask to seal air leaks. Damn indicates that there is still no scientific evidence to certify the effectiveness of these objects, but yes there is a preprint (a paper without revision) that indicates the effectiveness “would be close to 100% for the largest particle sizes”, According to the biochemist María I. Tapia.

What is not recommended

Some citizens began to cross the rubber bands of the masks as it tightened the mask to the face. Nevertheless, Doing so creates gaps in the sides of the mask, specifically on the cheek, where a lot of unfiltered air can get in and out. José Luis Jiménez, the researcher who has focused on elastomeric masks, warned that doing this was a serious mistake.

In healthcare settings, many staff wear a double mask, typically an FFP2 and a surgical one. Making use of two masks is still debated and there is a diversity of opinions. Jiménez indicates that Using a large cloth mask that pulls a hygienic towards the face may be a good idea, since the surgical filter well and fits poorly, but it would be questionable depending on the types of mask that were used.

However, the pharmacist Irene Suárez explained to Maldita last November that this practice “does not increase the effectiveness of protection and they generate an increase in consumption and unnecessary waste ”.