Doctors: No excuse to not wear a mask - FOX34 Lubbock

Doctors: No excuse to not wear a mask

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LUBBOCK, Texas -


More than half of U.S. states, including Texas, now require facial coverings in public. In contrast to earlier recommendations, the experts say its our best defense against the coronavirus.

"We've clearly seen that masks decrease transmission from every aspect. Coughing, sneezing, talking, singing," Chief Medical Officer at Covenant Health Dr. Craig Rhyne said.

But many have noticed some not-so-pleasant side effects. 

"People are just not comfortable wearing the mask, they feel claustrophobic, it is somewhat hard to breath with," Dr. Brian Williams, a pulmonologist at Covenant Health, said.

This includes "Maskne" or acne and rashes on the face that appear after wearing a mask for an extended period of time. 

"It can be constant irritation with the mask rubbing and causing friction and you can kind of see the outline of the mask when they come in," dermatologist Dr. Michael Lehman said. "Also because of retaining the heat that the masks cause wearing it all the day."

Making sure to wash your face more frequently could help alleviate the problem. 

"If you have to wear the mask, then you have to wear the mask there's no way around it," Dr. Lehman said. 

Some argue that the side effects of masks are more than just skin-deep. 

"There's a lot of nonsense out there in the lay literature, and on Facebook about 'don't wear a mask it can reduce your oxygen levels,' Dr. Rhyne said. "'It can make your CO2 build up and make it toxic levels in your blood, it can impair your immune system or impair your ability to fight the virus.'"

Doctors say these are no excuses.

"There's probably no underlying health condition, that a physician would say: 'here's a free pass to go out in public without a mask on,'" Dr. Williams said. 

"As a practicing surgeon of 35 years, I wore a mask all day, every day for 35 years. I can guarantee you, it didn't cause any of those problems," Dr. Rhyne said.

CDC Director Robert Redfield said the pandemic could be brought under control in a matter of weeks, if everyone started wearing a mask.

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