Ten months into the pandemic, we have all made peace with the fact that COVID-19 is here to stay and so are the masks. With time we have all adapted to this change and mask has become the new normal. But we all know that wearing a face mask all the time is not an easy task. The defensive gear against the COVID virus can make it difficult to breathe and even lead to skin irritation and acne. To help overcome this problem a new accessory has recently started gaining popularity: face mask brackets.
What is the use of a face mask bracket?Face mask brackets are plastic or silicon-based support frames worn under the mask. They are generally pear-shaped, with a narrow top that fits over your nose and a wide bottom that perfectly settles at the bottom of your chin. There is a T-shape structure in the middle that covers your nose and mouth. They have small hooks at each end that can help to secure them onto the inside of a surgical-style mask, creating a barrier between your face and your mask.
These face mask brackets are claimed to make breathing and speaking from under the mask easy. The brackets prevent the fabric from touching your face, creating more breathing space and less friction. Wearing these face brackets can also prevent skin-related issues like masken, eczema and won't smear your lipstick.
Are they effective?
Face mask brackets are still new in the market and no study has been carried out to evaluate its effectiveness. But experts believe that there is no harm in using this accessory unless and until it fits perfectly on your face.
The major issue is the size of the brackets and the kind of mask they are used with. These face mask brackets are specifically made for surgical masks and might not fit well inside all kinds of fancy masks available in the market. The main purpose of a face mask is to create a barrier between you and droplets of other people and an ill-fitted mask can only increase the risk of infection.
The downsideThe major downside of using a face mask bracket is the fitting. Most brackets are available in the standard size and might not fit well on everyone's face, creating a gap and increasing the risk of infection. Also, there are high chances that brackets may push the mask off your face if not secured perfectly.
The second flaw is the material used to make these brackets. Indeed these brackets might prevent friction between the face and mask, but what about the plastic and silicon frame rubbing your face. Staying in contact with the plastic and silicon structure for a long time can lead to irritation.
How to take care of your face mask brackets
If you decide to wear the brackets then make sure you clean them properly after every use. Scrub with soap and warm water, just like you wash your face mask. Keep them away from children as it could pose as a choking hazard.