AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - It hasn’t been easy for everyone to adapt to wearing face masks. Especially since for many, daily use has lead to health issues.
Although medical experts agree on the importance of face masks, they acknowledge that for some, daily usage can cause acne, irritation, allergic reactions, headaches or even anxiety.
These reactions could be caused by the summer heat, the fabric of your mask, the pressure of the mask around your ears, and for women, the use of makeup.
“I noticed that I was getting a rash on my face and anxiety after two weeks of wearing a mask,” said Marta Albarran, an Amarillo resident who has experienced side effects from wearing a mask.
“At the beginning I started to notice a lot of irritation on my face, a lot of pimples. I was getting a lot of irritation around my ears so I noticed also headaches and a little bit of migraines,” said Fernando Bibiano, another Amarilloan who has also experienced symptoms.
A local doctor says there are several factors that could lead to side effects from wearing masks.
These factors include prolonged use of a tight mask, humidity, harsh acne treatments, makeup, and breathing in gases that are circulating in our masks.
“Our body is not meant to use a mask, it is something that we had to put on at this time just because of the pandemic so we have to get adjusted,” said Juan Pablo Garrido, a local doctor of internal medicine.”We have to adapt to the situation, keeping in mind that you wearing a mask can save somebody else’s life.”
A solution for most side effects could be taking occasional breaks from wearing the mask... but for those dealing with mental issues like anxiety, the only real solution is a change of mindset.
“I think that i just got used to it, I got adjusted to it. I’m used to wearing a mask, I made it a part of my life to wear it daily,” said Albarran.
Wearing a face mask may be uncomfortable at times, but Dr. Garrido says that aside from social distancing, it is the only weapon we can use to fight COVID.
“It’s important for everyone to realize that face masks are the main weapon we can use at this time to fight COVID-19 on top of social distancing,” said Garrido.
Both Albarran and Bibiano say the side effects are a small sacrifice they are willing to make if it means they are helping to slow the spread of the virus in our community.
“I wear a mask to protect myself, my family, my customers. I work at a restaurant so I use the mask in general to protect everybody and to protect Amarillo in general,” said Albarran.
Although face coverings could cause a variety of skin problems, allergic reactions or even anxiety, doctors want to remind the public that most of these issues can either be prevented or treated, so there is no reason not to wear one.