Contact dermatitis is a common skin condition, and CPAP machines can cause it in many ways. The good news is that it’s easy to treat and prevent. Here are steps you can take to avoid contact dermatitis with your CPAP.
What is Contact Dermatitis?
According to the Mayo Clinic, contact dermatitis is “an itchy rash caused by direct contact with a substance or an allergic reaction to it.” The rash isn’t contagious but can be very irritating. The rash usually shows up within days of exposure and should go away within 2-4 weeks. People with eczema are more likely to experience these types of rashes.
A Clean CPAP is Key
The best thing to avoid any skin irritations when using your CPAP is to keep it very clean, including the filter. You should clean your mask every day and your headgear once a week. If the issue persists and you think it is contact dermatitis, you can get a cloth cover for the mask or barrier cream to prevent direct contact with your skin. You may also consider talking to a doctor about getting an allergy test for the silicones in the mask.
Take Care of Your Skin To Avoid Contact Dermatitis
Just like you should keep your CPAP clean, you should also keep your skin clean. You should wash your face with a gentle cleanser before and after using the machine and keep your skin moisturized, especially around where the mask sits. A rash caused by CPAP machines can be very dry, so moisturizing will also help to treat the rash.
Check the Fit of Your Mask
Ensuring your mask fits well will decrease skin irritation. Skin irritations can be common when a CPAP mask fits poorly, and skin irritation is easily confused with contact dermatitis. A barrier cream and moisturizer can also help with skin irritation.
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