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Article

Facial Skin Temperature and Discomfort When Wearing Protective Face Masks: Thermal Infrared Imaging Evaluation and Hands Moving the Mask

1
Department of Medical, Oral and Biotechnological Sciences, University of Chieti-Pescara, 66100 Chieti, Italy
2
Department of Interdisciplinary Medicine, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, 70121 Bari, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4624; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134624
Received: 28 April 2020 / Revised: 22 June 2020 / Accepted: 22 June 2020 / Published: 27 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dental Public Health: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities)
Individual respiratory protective devices and face masks represent critical tools in protecting health care workers in hospitals and clinics, and play a central role in decreasing the spread of the high-risk pandemic infection of 2019, coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The aim of the present study was to compare the facial skin temperature and the heat flow when wearing medical surgical masks to the same factors when wearing N95 respirators. A total of 20 subjects were recruited and during the evaluation, each subject was invited to wear a surgical mask or respirator for 1 h. The next day in the morning at the same hour, the same subject wore a N95 mask for 1 h with the same protocol. Infrared thermal evaluation was performed to measure the facial temperature of the perioral region and the perception ratings related to the humidity, heat, breathing difficulty, and discomfort were recorded. A significant difference in heat flow and perioral region temperature was recorded between the surgical mask and the N95 respirator (p < 0.05). A statistically significant difference in humidity, heat, breathing difficulty, and discomfort was present between the groups. The study results suggest that N95 respirators are able to induce an increased facial skin temperature, greater discomfort and lower wearing adherence when compared to the medical surgical masks. View Full-Text
Keywords: N95 respirators; surgical mask; protective face masks; COVID-19; Infection control; Infrared Imaging N95 respirators; surgical mask; protective face masks; COVID-19; Infection control; Infrared Imaging
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MDPI and ACS Style

Scarano, A.; Inchingolo, F.; Lorusso, F. Facial Skin Temperature and Discomfort When Wearing Protective Face Masks: Thermal Infrared Imaging Evaluation and Hands Moving the Mask. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 4624. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134624

AMA Style

Scarano A, Inchingolo F, Lorusso F. Facial Skin Temperature and Discomfort When Wearing Protective Face Masks: Thermal Infrared Imaging Evaluation and Hands Moving the Mask. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(13):4624. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134624

Chicago/Turabian Style

Scarano, Antonio, Francesco Inchingolo, and Felice Lorusso. 2020. "Facial Skin Temperature and Discomfort When Wearing Protective Face Masks: Thermal Infrared Imaging Evaluation and Hands Moving the Mask" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 13: 4624. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134624

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