With summer in full swing, it's getting hotter and it's probably feeling harder to keep your face mask on, but we have tips on how to stay cool and still protect yourself from coronavirus.
As a reminder, The CDC is calling on all Americans to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially if you are indoors in a space with people not in your household, while outside among groups of people and around anyone who may be sick or may have been exposed to the virus. "Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus," CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said. Adding, "All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”
So how do you wear a mask and not get overheated and feel miserable? It's not easy, but there are some simple things you can easily do to stay cool while staying safe. Refinery29 suggests the following:
Wear a mask that allows more room to breathe: Pick a mask that is constructed to not lay flat against your mouth, which will allow you to breathe easier. Of course, make sure your mask is still form-fitting on the sides.
Pick the right material for the mask: Refinery29 says natural fabrics and moisture-wicking fabrics might help keep you cool and possibly avoid getting a face mask rash. Dermatologist Dr. Ted Lain says, “Consider fabrics that are either natural, like cotton, or synthetic fabrics that wick away sweat, such as fabric found in exercise clothing. The latest recommendation is to use multiple layers of fabric to produce the most effective protective barrier to the virus, so instead of using a thick cotton, consider a thinner cotton fabric but layering it.”
Pack extra masks: If you know you will be out for a long sweaty day, make sure to bring along extra masks, as damp masks can lead to breakouts. It is suggested to packs your extra masks in a sealed plastic bag to avoid getting germs on them before using them.
Take a mask break only when it is safe: If you are not near anyone else it should be ok to remove your mask for a brief time but make sure you take these breaks at the right time -- when no one else (outside of your immediate household) is in your vicinity. And don't be the person who wears their mask around the bottom of your chin. Dr. Nate Favini noted to Refinery29, “Wearing your mask down around your chin is like having a condom and leaving it on the nightstand while you have sex."
As always, The Doctors stress the importance of continuing to follow all prevention guidelines: social distancing, routine and frequent handwashing, the cleaning of high touch surfaces, avoiding people who are sick, and if you are experiencing COVID symptoms or believe you have been exposed, contact your doctor or healthcare provider about getting tested. Find out more information about local COVID-19 testing in your area, including free testing.