I recently had a patient who came in for oral appliance therapy, a CPAP alternative treatment for the condition of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). I could not help but notice her red face. Later I found out that what I thought was a form of rosacea, was a reaction to her CPAP mask.
Because I have quite a few patients that use both CPAP and oral appliances (intermittently), here is a list of some of the more common reasons for redness after wearing the CPAP device. Increases levels of adult acne are also not uncommon with CPAP usage.
Some of these reasons for redness or increased levels of acne include:
- Over tightening of the mask straps.
- Not cleaning the mask properly.
- Sensitivity to the mask cleaning products.
- Sensitivity to silicone or the mask material itself.
- Poor fitting mask needing replacement.
- Mask needing replacement.
- Pressure points caused by poor mask fit.
- Moisture accumulation between the mask and the skin.
- Problem with skin products under the mask..
Here are some possible solutions based on the problems above:
- Discuss fit of your current mask with your healthcare professional.
- Review home care-cleaning instructions.
- Consider nasal pillows interphase.
- Consider mask liners or cheek mask liners.
- Don’t over tighten the straps of your CPAP mask.
- Consider discussing problems with others of an A.W.A.K.E. apnea support group.
- Investigate chemical sensitivity of cleaning products.
- Consider oral appliance therapy, an alternative to CPAP.
- Limit skin products under mask.
- Consider mask liners.
Redness and acne that results with the use of CPAP mask can become a real problem for many patients. Because apnea is a life-altering condition that needs to be treated, it’s important to find the root of the cause and attempt to work through it.
Here are some references that many help:
- Mask liners–RemZZZs for over the counter purchase
- AWAKE support group - http://www.sleepapnea.org/support/a.w.a.k.e.-network-map.html
Dental Sleep and TMD Center of Illinois, a premiere snoring and apnea treatment center in Naperville, has been providing the CPAP alternative treatment of oral appliance therapy for over 15 years successfully. We are extremely passionate in helping individuals that have been struggling with CPAP therapy in Naperville, Lisle, Aurora, Bolingbrook and surrounding Chicago suburbs. For more information on this physician recommended treatment option, visit www.TiredOfSnoring.com or call us at (630) 369-5508.
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