Most people think of pressure sores as something that happens to those who are bedridden, but it can happen to CPAP users as well. If you’ve experienced this, you know how uncomfortable it is—and how much it can interfere with your sleep apnea treatment. There are three main causes of CPAP contact sores, and these three tips offer simple solutions to ease the common ailments.
CPAP Headgear Tension
For many users, a tight CPAP mask is the primary culprit. When your straps are too tight, your CPAP mask may be digging into your skin for seven or eight hours each night. However, the opposite can also be harmful. If the straps are too loose, your CPAP mask will shift and rub against your skin, causing irritation. Try to find the right tension for your headgear so that your CPAP mask doesn’t move, but also isn’t leaving an indent in your skin either.
Worn-out CPAP Mask
A worn out CPAP mask can cause contact sores as well. The cushioning on the edges breaks down over time, causing irritation. Certain models allow for cushions to be changed out. If your CPAP mask needs an update, check out our online catalog. CPAP masks and headgear should be replaced once every three months. Also keep in mind that cushions for nasal masks and pillow systems need changed twice a month, and cushions for full face masks should be changed once a month.
A Dirty CPAP Mask
Sometimes your CPAP mask just needs a good cleaning. It’s not good for your skin to be exposed to dirt and oil every night, so get into the habit of wiping down your mask once a day. You can do this using a damp towel and a mild dish detergent, or by using CPAP mask wipes (we have them here). You should also give your CPAP mask a full bath at least once a week, where you submerge it in soapy water and give it a good scrub.
If these common adjustments don’t work, please reach out to Johns Hopkins Pharmaquip at 410-288-8969! Our respiratory experts can help you find the best solution for you in order to get a good night’s rest.