You are currently viewing Negative effects of masks for adults

Negative effects of masks for adults

Side Effects of Prolonged Mask-Wearing on Adult’s Skin, Mind, and Health

What happens when you wear masks a lot?  There may be some serious and negative effects to masks for adults as well as children.

Nowadays, the mask is not just an accessory; it’s a part of our daily clothing. Or must I say a gear?

The one that a superhero wears to protect himself from a villain. And in this case, the villain is the ‘virus.’

Yes, you and I live in a world where masks are said to protect us from a sneaky foe.  No one ever took that mask seriously before 2020.

2020…When we all heard a virus named COVID-19 for the first time.

In April 2020, only people with virus symptoms were asked to wear the mask.  In June 2020, WHO recommended all and sundry wearing a mask.  From that time onward…the mask was the most commercialized product the world has ever seen.

Disclaimer: I am not advising you to not wear a mask in this article. It does, however, have some medical benefits such as physicians not accidentally spitting in a wound during surgery.

But what if we mask up all day long?  Then, it has some side effects.  This blog is dedicated to letting you know the side effects of wearing a mask all day.


Side effects of prolonged mask-wearing

You know the story behind how masks become our everyday buddies. Even if you are walking alone on a greenish walk-track, you are recommended to wear a N95.  Your risk outside in fresh air many feet from others is extremely small.

There’s a super serious time when wearing a mask is like wearing armor in a battle. If you are wandering in dusty or smoky places or places with lots of people in close proximity.  During times of high occurrences of the flu places like crowded stores and buses, it may be a good preventative.  If you are around asbestos, then the mask will definitely guard you. That’s where it acts like your secret weapon, protecting you.

Now, you are wise enough to figure out when to mask up and when to let your face breathe-free!

But if you are masking up all day, below is the list of medically proven side effects that will wreck your health.

Skin troubles from wearing masks all-day

Scientific studies show that prolonged mask-wearing causes real skin troubles. Your skin doesn’t always like being covered up.  Naturally, it requires fresh air and an open atmosphere.  A study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology by ClinMed reveals that it causes many physical and psychological problems.  It can also decrease work efficiency.

The study also mentions that prolonged use of N95 and other surgical masks can cause headaches, skin breakdown, rashes, and impaired cognition.  We are not sure what chemicals or ingredients are used in their construction so caution is pertinent.

Here are some obvious skin troubles you can face after covering up your mouth for longer.

  • Maskne: This is when little pimples decide to pop up, thanks to mask friction.
  • Sensitive Skin: Your skin might get upset and become red and irritated.
  • Bacterial infections: When moisture and exhaled bacteria are trapped on your skin for long periods of time.
  • Dryness: Masks can soak up skin’s natural moisture, leaving it feeling dry.

Ways to protect your skin while wearing masks

If you have no choice but to wear a mask, there are ways to keep your skin happy:

  • Clean Masks: Make sure your mask is clean to avoid trapping dirt, bacteria, and contaminants.
  • Breathable Materials: Pick masks made of comfy fabrics that let your skin breathe while absorbing moisture.
  • Skincare Routines: Use gentle skincare products to soothe your skin after mask time.

Breathing difficulties due to prolonged use of masks

Have you ever faced difficulty breathing while wearing a mask?  Yes. Everyone does!

When you cover your nose and mouth, the airflow isn’t as easy as usual. Breathing gets a bit harder. Imagine blowing up a balloon through a thin straw – it’s tougher, right? It can feel the same when you breathe with a mask and worse for those with asthma or COPD.

But don’t worry, I’m here to explain what happens and how to deal with it.

The breathing gets harder

When you are wearing a mask, your lungs have to work extra because the airflow is limited. This can lead to “Dyspnea,” where you feel slightly out of breath.  It is linked to heart and lung conditions but may be triggered by smothering anxiety.

Science shows that some masks might cause lower oxygen intake and higher carbon dioxide levels. When our body doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can make us tired, give us headaches, and impact our overall health.  It’s like our body’s engine running on low fuel.

When you can’t avoid wearing a mask, remember these tricks:

  • Choose Better Masks: Look for masks that let you breathe easier.
  • Take Breaks: Safely take off your mask for a breather whenever you can. Balancing safety and comfort is the key!
  • Practice Deep Breathing: Take deep breaths for the count of 7 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, then release for 7 more to cleanse your lungs.

Psychological and cognitive impact of wearing masks all-day

Wearing a mask daily for 8-12 hours affects your physical health and your psychological, and emotional well-being.
Humans are social animals, and the brain is a social detective. Our psychological well-being depends on three fundamentals;

  • Autonomy: Individuals choice over their actions. Do what keeps you safe without the judgment of others.
  • Psychological relatedness: Feeling socially connected to others by seeing their facial expressions.
  • Competence: The ability to exert control over your own life and choices. Or to make changes in one’s environment.

Wearing a mask all day impacts these three fundamental psychological needs in one way or another. This includes the potential damage that can be done to our masked children.

When, in June 2020, authorities made it compulsory to wear a mask in public places, we lost our sense of freedom.  We had no alternative other than wearing any type of mask.  Some people get irritated, but they feel they are not able to change the mandate.  Some refused to relinquish their freedom.

There were a lot of rumors about COVID-19, but no one was provided with authentic information. The solution for someone who is getting physically affected by masks is not even out there. The dangers certainly are rarely discussed.

The benefits of stopping the spread were disproven over time but many feel “safe” so they continue to don their masks.  It is our right to do what we feel is right for our personal well-being.


There is something more to it, too;

Face masks conceal expression

When the faces of people around you are covered, their emotions are hidden behind the curtain.  As mentioned, you can’t see smiles or frowns.  It is so hard to know how someone really feels. Imagine watching a movie with parts, blocked-out faces– it is not the whole story. This can make us feel lonely and isolated as if we are on a separate island from others.

Face masks impact cognitive function

Like the other body parts, your brain needs more oxygen than any other part. The mask is a barrier to the transportation of proper oxygenation to the mind. When your mind gets minimal oxygen, it can not work optimally.

Wearing masks for a long time affects the emotional part (called the limbic system) and the thinking part (called the prefrontal cortex) of your brain.  The thinking part needs oxygen to work well.

These masks can truly change how much oxygen your brain gets. It might tire when getting less oxygen, affecting how you pay attention, remember things, and make choices.


Special considerations if you are exposed to prolonged mask-wearing effects

In some situations, like if you are a 9 to 5 job holder in a company, you have to follow the protocols. Wearing masks 9-5 becomes compulsory.

So, here are some coping techniques;

  • Fresh Air Breaks: Step outside for mask-free moments.
  • Hydration: Drink water to stay refreshed and help your skin.
  • Mindful Breathing: Take slow, deep breaths to relax.
  • Moisturize: Keep skin moisturized to avoid dryness.
  • Face Care Routine: Cleanse and care for your skin at least twice daily. Try the turtle-like structures to hold it off of your skin.

Final Remarks

Being an ordinary person, you have a choice to comply or not.  If you can not change the mandate imposed by your employer, you can choose to comply or change jobs. Only you have the power to choose to take the health risks or not.

There are 100 microns in the width of human hair. If you compare the size of tobacco molecules which are .01 to viruses that are .005 to .01 you can see the protection may not be there. They can be the same size.  Can you smell tobacco through your mask?

Your best protection is your immune system. We can rebuild it from a cellular level to help you fight off all illnesses to your best possible level.


Hair Analysis and face masks

My advice for you: be very careful in mask-wearing and over using them.  Only wear it when it is necessary or an absolute must.  If you feel they aren’t stopping viruses from passing through them you can choose to stand up for your rights collectively.

Who knows, you may just change the world!

If you have been exposed to the adverse effects of prolonged mask-wearing, please rule out major issues with your health provider and LET’S CHAT about your health goals!


Copyright Scientific Nutrition, LLC 2023