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Face masks hurting your ears? These easy solutions can help Professional

1 month ago Multimedia Battambang   16 views

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Location: Battambang
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Face masks hurting your ears? These easy solutions can help

In this period of the Covid-19 pandemic, a protective mask has become a common object of use to contain virus transmission. The imminent need for masks has led many governments to produce them, including surgical masks with mask earloop or masks with side cuts at the ears. Among those on the market, surgical masks with elastic loops are the ones most chosen by parents for their children. These elastics cause constant compression on the skin and, consequently, on the cartilage of the auricle, leading to erythematous and painful lesions of the retroauricular skin when the masks are used for many hours a day. Pre-adolescent children have undeveloped auricular cartilage with less resistance to deformation; prolonged pressure from the elastic loops of the mask at the hollow or, even worse, at the anthelix level can influence the correct growth and angulation of the outer ear. In fact, unlike when using conservative methods for the treatment of protruding ears, this prolonged pressure can increase the cephaloauricular angle of the outer auricle. It is important for the authorities supplying the masks to be aware of this potential risk and for alternative solutions to be found while maintaining the possibility of legitimate prevention of the potential spread of the virus.

We read with interest the article by Ors [1] on prominent ear deformities and its recurrence rate. This article gives us the opportunity to better understand the effectiveness of nonsurgical options for the treatment of ear anomalies in young patients (5–14 years).

The current COVID-19 pandemic has imposed the worldwide use of masks in addition to social distancing. The use of masks applies to everyone, even children, certainly if over the age of 5–6 years.

The masks distributed to the population by government bodies are of various types, both as regards to their shape and the systems for fastening them to the head, but, basically, they are divided into 4 large categories: masks with elastic (ear loops), strips of fabric with lateral slits (side cuts at the ears), with tapes, single cervical band.

Small children are rarely made to wear the masks with tapes, due to the difficulty in positioning and tying the tapes.

The “single band” masks that wrap around the neck have the drawback of sliding downwards and, therefore, not keeping the nose covered; furthermore, if used during the summer season, they tend to produce a humid microenvironment that favours the development of dermatitis and eczema.

Many adults (health care workers and others) complain about discomfort associated with round elastic earloop, due to the continuous pressure of the elastic behind the ear. Several methods have been proposed to overcome this problem: from the use of hairpins to hang the elastic bands from the forehead to the use of various types of bands that pass behind the back of the neck and to which the loops of the mask are attached. However, these methods used by adults are not used by children, resulting in constant pressure of the elastic on the skin of the posterior portion of the auricle.