DISCLAIMER: Rules, regulations, and science about the UK pandemic may have changed since this article was written in March 2020, for updated news visit the World Health Organisation or the NHS website.

Should You Wear A Face Mask?

Over the course of this pandemic, official advice about face masks has been mixed. PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) was obviously needed for medical workers, but what about the general public? With the New Lockdown Update it seems the government has finally decided to advocate the use of face masks for general use, particularly for those who are going back to work and using public transport. When worn properly, protective equipment like a face mask can help protect you and others from the spread of the virus. 

So how should you be using a face mask? Follow these simple steps to stay safe.

1. Wash Your Hands First

Protective equipment such as 3-Ply Surgical Face Masks and Disposable Gloves are most effective when combined with thorough hand washing. Before putting on your face mask, you should be washing your hands properly by following the 5 Steps To Hand Washing, using either soap and water or an alcohol-based Hand Sanitiser.

Illustration of a young male smiling and squeezing hand gel into the palm of his right hand | The Correct Way To Wear A Face Mask | e-Surgery

2. Cover Your Mouth & Nose

The point of the face mask is to provide a barrier between the virus and the most common points of transmission – your nose and mouth. Therefore, the most important step is to make sure the mask is covering both of these areas, that there are no gaps between your face and the mask and that it is fixed securely.

Illustration of a middle aged male looking the straps of a face mask over his ears | The Correct Way To Wear A Face Mask | e-Surgery

3. Don’t Touch The Mask

A common piece of advice during lockdown has been to avoid touching our faces when outside. This is because the virus can survive on surfaces for some time, and by touching our faces we risk carrying the virus from infected surfaces to our nose and mouth. This is one of the most common ways the disease transmits. This same advice applies to the face mask. Avoid touching it with your hands; if you do, you must wash your hands thoroughly (see step 1).

Illustration of a middle aged male with a face mask on signalling a thumbs up with his left hand | The Correct Way To Wear A Face Mask | e-Surgery

4. Know When To Replace The Mask

As effective as face masks are, they are not intended to be used forever. Therefore, it’s important to recognise when you should be replacing your face mask for a new one. Once the face mask has become damp or moist, it needs to be replaced. As a rule, you should never be wearing a mask for longer than a day. Remember that single-use masks are exactly that – they should not be used multiple times.

Illustration of a middle aged male holding a face mask in-front of his chest by the two straps | The Correct Way To Wear A Face Mask | e-Surgery

5. Remove & Dispose The Mask Safely

Once the face mask has fulfilled its use, the time has come to remove it and dispose of it. Use the straps to remove it from the back as you should not be touching the front of the mask (see step 3). The mask should be going immediately into a closed bin. Do not leave a used mask on surfaces, as this could be a hazardous source of infection. Once you’ve disposed of the mask into a bin, wash your hands immediately.

By following this advice when wearing a face mask, you’re not only keeping yourself safe, but helping to keep your local community safe by reducing the rate of infection.

Illustration of a middle aged male holding a face mask by the straps before placing it in the bin | The Correct Way To Wear A Face Mask | e-Surgery

Staying Healthy During Lockdown

Caring for your health during lockdown isn’t just about avoiding infection. We also need to make sure we’re taking care of our physical and mental health during these tough times. Thankfully, online pharmacies like e-Surgery not only provide protective equipment but also allow you stay safe at home by Ordering Meds Online. If you’re looking for ways to stay healthy and happy during quarantine, here are some ideas:

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Covid-19 Updates General Health

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Our blog content is never intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with your GP or healthcare professional if you have any personal healthcare questions.