There are a lot of talks these days whether cloth masks are truly effective. We hear many people claiming that cloth masks are not nearly as good protection as disposable masks, and some are even claiming that cloth masks are completely ineffective. So, is that true, are cloth masks ineffective against viruses and bacteria?
Let us state this in the begging and later we will elaborate – no, cloth masks are not ineffective. Cloth masks serve as protection against bacteria and viruses that are transmitted through droplets that travel through the air. If the mask is used properly and washed regularly, it can help significantly reduce the risk of transmitting the disease.
In the article below, we will try to bust some myths about cloth masks. We will teach you how to wear them properly, and how to take care of them for the maximum protection of yourself, and those around you.
What is a cloth face mask?
Cloth masks are face masks made from fabric, textile, that are meant to protect from diseases transmitted by droplets. Like any other facemask, cloth masks are also put over the mouth and nose to stop the droplets fall on another person.
When talking, we release thousands of droplets that can go as far as 6 feet. Sneezing has the strongest and the most forceful momentum and can carry the droplets up to 26 feet.
Other types of masks are surgical masks, regular disposable masks, and N95 respirator masks that medical staff wears in certain cases.
Which face mask provides the best protection?
All the face masks, except the N95 masks, are actually worn to protect others from contracting viruses or bacteria from you.
Surgical masks provide the best protection, and the medical staff wears them to stop their germs from getting to patients.
Disposable and cloth masks don’t provide such protection as surgical medical-grade masks, but they provide the maximum protection that you need for everyday use. Surgical masks really make a difference only for doctors and medical staff who is constantly around people with weakened immune systems.
For everyday use such as on the streets, in a store, or in a bank – disposable and cloth masks are just enough. Of course, if all other measures are respected. Not one mask can replace keeping distance, washing hands, and not touching your face.
The N95 respirator masks medical staff wears in special cases when they are exposed to a high risk of contracting something from the patients. These masks need to be tested and perfectly fitted.
Surgical masks and the N95 masks are reserved for the frontline workers and first responders. Common people should use disposable or cloth masks thus leaving surgical and N95 respirator masks for the medical staff.
Are cloth masks effective against bacteria?
With everybody making homemade cloth masks, brands selling masks with their logos, and just seeing cloth masks being sold all over the place, people are asking the question Do cloth masks work?
And we will tell you. Cloth masks do work. They are effective protection against the spread of viruses and bacteria in contact with others.
However, you should be aware that cloth masks are more effective in protecting others from us than protecting us from others. By being so close to your mouth, cloth masks make sure that the droplets that come when you speak, sneeze, or cough, do not go beyond the fabric. If the fabric is thick and dense, it can stop almost all the droplets.
If you are thinking now Well, my best interest is to protect myself with the mask, and others should take care of themselves., try thinking about it from another perspective. Try protecting others by wearing a mask, and protect yourself with proper hygiene, social distancing, keeping in mind where you go, and with whom, etc. As more people start thinking about others, the more people will be protected.
It is much more important for the person with the virus to wear a mask than for everybody around them.
Where to buy a cloth mask?
Skineez Skincarewear developed special skin-healthy cloth masks that provide maximum comfort, protection, and breathability.
The reusable Antibacterial Face Mask provides soothing, cooling personal protection.
A triple threat in mask protection by combining zinc, cooling fiber technology & our signature 5 key healthy, moisturizing skin protectants to keep you refreshed and comfortable.
It is the only mask available on the market infused with skin protectants clinically proven to soothe and renew your skin.
The mask is also infused with zinc, medically proven antibacterial, and antiviral ingredient.
You can shop for the mask in the Skineez online store.
Can cloth masks have negative side effects?
Depending on the material that is made from, cloth masks can cause irritation, allergies, and skin inflammation.
This is the reason Skineez developed the first skin-healthy face mask, that nurtures the skin, prevents inflammation and redness, soothes, cools down, and lets the pores breathe.
Many people with sensitive skin found wearing masks extremely uncomfortable and hard. That is why Skineez developed this skin-nurturing masks. The material is light weighted and developed on microencapsulation technology that helps activate skin-healthy ingredients while you wear it.
Can cloth masks cause acne?
Wearing a cloth mask more than once without washing can cause acne and breakouts. The textile is more prone to collecting sweat particles and dirt, so without washing it regularly, one can experience skin irritation and a breakout.
Skineez masks are infused with zinc that is a well-known element used in treating acne.
However, by washing the masks regularly, you are making sure to avoid acne, and generally germs getting in contact with your face.
Are cloth masks effective against Coronavirus?
So, now we know the answer to the question “Do cloth masks work against viruses?”, but what about coronavirus specifically?
Coronavirus is transmitted by small spit droplets that are produced by talking, sneezing, and coughing. Since the virus is spread by droplets, face masks serve as a barrier between the transmitter and others.
Like disposable masks, cloth masks stop almost all the droplets to go beyond them and prevent them from falling onto another person, thus protecting that person from contracting the SARS-CoV-2 or coronavirus.
How to wear a cloth mask?
Before putting on a cloth mask, thoroughly wash and sanitize your hands. Put the cloth on your nose and mouth, and under your chin, then secure the string behind your ears.
Do not put cloth masks on toddlers and someone who has trouble breathing.