Learn How CPAP Masks and Pressure Ulcers Can Pose a Problem

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CPAP Masks Help Sleep Apnea

Many of the people diagnosed with sleep apnea choose to utilize a CPAP mask to treat this condition. These continuous positive airway pressure masks help many people who suffer fromthis condition to sleep well. The CPAP mask uses pressurized air delivered by a computerized air pump to open the airway so that you can breathe easier during the night. This inflow of air allows you to not have to worry about episodes of not breathing while sleeping. However, some people have problems with CPAP masks and pressure ulcers.

CPAP Mask Problems

Even though CPAP masks help many people live with sleep apnea, skin irritation and sometimes even pressure ulcers can be a problem. CPAP masks and pressure ulcers can be a problem if the straps on the mask are either too loose or too tight. Since pressure ulcers are caused by friction of an object on the skin, these straps need to be as loose as possible without breaking the seal of the mask.

If the CPAP mask is dirty or worn out, it might crack, break or be too stiff. If it is worn out, it may put additional pressure on the skin on your face which is very delicate. If the mask shows any sign of being worn out, replace it.

If the mask is not kept clean, the dirt on the mask compresses against the skin while you sleep and may cause skin irritation. Be sure to wash the CPAP mask needs each morning.

Nasal Interface CPAP Mask

Another solution for CPAP masks and pressure ulcers is to use a nasal interface CPAP mask instead of the typical oronasal mask or full face mask. A nasal interface CPAP mask is a special type of mask that delivers the pressurized air directly to the nose. There are two kinds of nasal interface. One is a nasal mask that fits right over the nose while nasal pillows are prongs that fit inside the nostrils. By delivering the air pressure directly to the nose, there is no pressure applied to the face so pressure sores will not develop.

Cloth CPAP Mask

CPAP masks and pressure ulcers can be avoided by utilizing a CPAP mask that is made of a cloth material. Most of the CPAP masks available these days are made of hard, plastic material that is very uncomfortable when placed against the face and additionally does not allow the skin to breathe. This can affect the health of the skin and cause sweating during the night. A CPAP mask that is made of cloth material is available and works very well for a person with sensitive skin. This kind of CPAP mask has breathable, soft characteristics that can feel more comfortable and lessen irritation for a person that uses a CPAP mask.


How to Reduce CPAP Mask Skin Irritation. (2009). Retrieved December 11, 2010, from TheFreeLibrary.com: https://www.thefreelibrary.com/How+to+Reduce+CPAP+Mask+Skin+Irritation-a01073959966

Rack MD, M. (2007, October 1). The Basics of CPAP. Retrieved December 11, 2010, from Health Central: https://www.healthcentral.com/sleep-disorders/c/1191/14336/cpap