Summer has finally arrived and with it the big ones heat. Hats, sunglasses, fogger… So many essential accessories to protect yourself from heatstroke. But this year, we will have to deal with an additional accessory: the masque surgical mask or cloth mask to protect against SARS-CoV-2, which has decided not to take a vacation! In this context, how to make the least painful possible the wearing a mask this summer ?
How to choose your mask
The epidemic of COVID-19 not yet contained, SARS-CoV-2 is still circulating on our territory. The wearing a mask therefore remains highly recommended by health authorities, and is even compulsory in enclosed spaces such as public transport. But with the rising mercury, how to avoid the feelings of discomfort linked to wearing a mask ?
It is important above all to choose your mask carefully to avoid wearing it that becomes too painful. As with clothing, it is recommended in the event of strong heatr favor a light color, which will attract less sun than a dark color: “Dark colors get warmer faster and attract the sun towards you”, says Dr. Anne Rimoin, professor of infectious diseases.
The material of masque is also important. Cotton will allow better ventilation and will be more comfortable than synthetic fabrics such as polyester.
Breathe well with your mask
The way we breathe also affects our feeling of heat. The Robert-Sauvé Quebec Research Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (IRSST) advises in fact to favor breathing by the nose rather than by the mouth because breathing by the nose “Generates less heat and humidity which will be retained in the mask”.
To know ! This advice does not apply during physical exertion or the practice of physical activity. Wearing a mask is also not recommended during such an effort.
It should also be worn masque adequately. Well adapted to the shape and size of the face, thanks to an adjustable nose strip (which can help reduce fogging on spectacle lenses!) And straps that attach behind the head, it can thus allow reduce feelings of discomfort.
To note ! Covering only your mouth with the mask certainly facilitates breathing, but is not effective in protecting yourself against SARS-CoV-2: “A large number of people put their noses outside the mask: wearing it that way cannot be useful”, explains Étienne Decroly, director of research at the CNRS.
Change your mask and refresh yourself regularly
When the heat is heavy, it is wise to have spare masks on hand to renew the one worn. Indeed, in case of high heat, perspiration can humidify the mask and make it ineffective against SARS-CoV-2. It is the same in case of rain and it will therefore be necessary to think of replacing your mask by a clean and dry mask.
Simple advice can be applied to reduce feelings of discomfort related to wearing a mask :
- Wash your face before and after wearing the mask.
- Avoid applying to the face creams or other cosmetics that can block the pores of the skin (foundation for example) before putting on the mask.
To know ! It is important to wash reusable cloth masks with hot water and soap after each use.
Finally, this summer, it will remain essential to get enough hydration and refresh yourself regularly to avoid heat stroke.
To know ! Heat stroke refers to the warming of the body which fails to maintain a suitable internal temperature which causes various symptoms (dizziness, dizziness, unusual tiredness, chills, incoherent speech, loss of balance, loss of consciousness, vomiting ) which can sometimes lead to death.
At work, where wearing a mask can sometimes be compulsory, you should take breaks during the day and spend more time in the shade or in air-conditioned rooms if possible.
Déborah L., Doctor of Pharmacy