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Confirmed allergic reaction to surgical mask

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Saw my pcp. I have been wheezy/chest pressure/ nasal drainage/throat difficulties

My pcp says I am reacting to fibers in mask. Most people I talk to looked at me as though I had a third head or questioned me that I wear my mask in public. I honestly do. Even with all the problems.

Does anyone else have the same problem? I am going to pay more attention to which medical mask they give me. It used to be only n 95. Now offered yellow or blue mask. Will pay attention. I haven’t had a covid patient since April and wasn’t tolerating N 95 mask as was many staff. But I think mostly bc claustrophobia.

Will be reducing hours at work. I know that will help.

Will they let you put the surgical mask over a cloth one?

speedynurse, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU.

1 hour ago, Wuzzie said:

Will they let you put the surgical mask over a cloth one?

That’s what some of my coworkers are doing. We have had reactions from migraines to mild allergic reactions from the regular surgical masks.

Love this site bc I judgemental and give awesome suggestions

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 19 years experience.

Askter - Have you tried cleang your n-95 masks throughly. CDC recomends the exterior side of the mask be wiped down with C3H8O or isopropal alcohol. The interior of the mask can be spayed with H2O2 and aallowed to dair dry. The best way to clean a mask per the CDC is to used vaporized H2O2. I do this by placing the H2O2 in a nebulizer.

I saw some stories about people gettin staph infections from wearing dirty masks.

Hppy

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 42 years experience.

On 8/14/2020 at 10:02 PM, hppygr8ful said:

Askter - Have you tried cleang your n-95 masks throughly. CDC recomends the exterior side of the mask be wiped down with C3H8O or isopropal alcohol. The interior of the mask can be spayed with H2O2 and aallowed to dair dry. The best way to clean a mask per the CDC is to used vaporized H2O2. I do this by placing the H2O2 in a nebulizer.

I saw some stories about people gettin staph infections from wearing dirty masks.

Hppy

What safety precautions do you take with vaporized H2O2? Do you do it in an enclosed room? How?

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 19 years experience.

On 8/15/2020 at 1:15 PM, Kitiger said:

What safety precautions do you take with vaporized H2O2? Do you do it in an enclosed room? How?

I use a brown paper lunch bag. Put the mask in the bag and attached the nozzel of the nebulized to the bag with a rubber band. It keeps the H2O2 where you want it and it quickly evaporates once the bag is opened.

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 42 years experience.

On 8/15/2020 at 1:18 PM, hppygr8ful said:

I use a brown paper lunch bag. Put the mask in the bag and attached the nozzel of the nebulized to the bag with a rubber band. It keeps the H2O2 where you want it and it quickly evaporates once the bag is opened.

I like it!

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 19 years experience.

On 8/15/2020 at 1:19 PM, Kitiger said:

I like it!

Oh and I purchased a small handled nebulizer for just under 50 dollars.

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 42 years experience.

On 8/15/2020 at 1:18 PM, hppygr8ful said:

I use a brown paper lunch bag. Put the mask in the bag and attached the nozzel of the nebulized to the bag with a rubber band. It keeps the H2O2 where you want it and it quickly evaporates once the bag is opened.

Are you using a lunch bag? How long do you let it run? Do you hang the mask up to air it out afterwards?

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 42 years experience.

I know someone who has the nebulizer, and who is a high risk herself when going out in public. This is something she could use.

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 19 years experience.

1 hour ago, Kitiger said:

Are you using a lunch bag? How long do you let it run? Do you hang the mask up to air it out afterwards?

So the way I do it is a follows

For N-95, KN-95 and surgical masks. Place in paper lunch bag seal around nozzel and let run for 15 minutes then hang the masks to dry in a well ventilated area.

For cloth masks I wash then in cool wash then after air drying I do the nebulizer treatment as above.

I stopped getting breakouts around my nose and mouth after I started doing this.

Hppy

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 42 years experience.

Does the H2O2 leak out of the paper bag enough to cause irritation? Do you get it running and then leave the room?

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 19 years experience.

I haven't had any problens with leaking vapor. There will be some condensation on the bag so I wear a nitrile glove to take the mask out and hang it in a well ventilated area

OR_RN

Specializes in Operating Room. Has 5 years experience.

As an OR nurse, I can tell you that not all surgical masks are the same. I've had similar breathing issues recently and find the cheap blue ear-looped masks are the worst. There must be some chemical in the fibers too that we are reacting to.

Our facility tried to change from one supplier to another cheaper supplier a few years ago and many nurses had allergic reactions and a few even had to go to the ER.

Try a new brand of surgical mask if you can find one. I really like the HALYARD masks. I have purchased several pairs of the KN95s, which I find to be fairly comfortable, and then put a surgical mask over that. We are all doing the best we can. Stay safe!

J.Adderton, BSN, MSN

Specializes in Clinical Leadership, Staff Development, Education. Has 28 years experience.

Yes, after wearing mask for few hours- hacking cough, wheezing and sneezing. Eventually, I ditch mask for a new one. I have own since we are given one mask to last forever.

My mom is allergic to surgical masks. Her face gets red, irritated, and swollen for days after she wears one even for a short period of time. Funny thing is we couldn’t figure out what was causing the reaction but a pharmacist pointed it out that many people are having outbreaks because of them.

dalavanj, BSN

Specializes in med surge/tele/step down ICU. Has 8 years experience.

I thought I was the only one having these issues! What an absolute shame. I am allowed to wear a cloth mask underneath surgical, but my skin is so sensitive.