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Full face mask causing spots and sores.

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Full face mask causing spots and sores.

Post by SnoozyQuatro » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:39 am

Hi folks,

I'm new to the forum and have only recently (November 2012) started to use a CPAP machine (ResMed S9 Elite). I hated using the damn thing at first as although I'm not claustrophobic, I'm fearful of my nose being blocked. Anyway, I'm used to it now and have used it practically every night since issue.

I've always had slight pressure masks on my cheeks and very slight pressure marks on my forehead, I've been told I have the mask on too tight but if I don't tighten it it leaks. The mask by the way is a ResMed Mirage Quattro full face. Normally, these marks dissapear throughout the course of the day but the marks on my forehead have got worse and I now have 2 huge bumps with tiny pus filled spots appearing. I've tried loosening the mask but it just leaks around the bridge of my nose, not heavily but enough to cause dry eyes and very little sleep.

In order to try and prevent this, I bought a PadaCheek product that slides over the mask to prevent pressure marks. In essence it was as useful as a chocolate watch so I trimmed the part that covers the mask propper away but still used the felt sleeve that covers the forehead pads.

I wash the mask twice a week with simple, soapy water and wipe the mask daily with an antispetic wipe (the kind you use for resuscitation manekins). Where am I going wrong?

My sleep nurse (not that I can understand a word she says) simply tells me that the mask is too tight and that I don't clean it enough. I've misjudged this woman, clearly she has experience of bugging and surveillance as well as being a trained nurse and more than likely works for MI6 in her spare time (I know, sarcasm is the lowest form of wit).

The bumps aside, I've had some of the best sleep I've had in years and you'd have to prize my machine out of my cold dead fingers to part me with it.
Has anybody else experienced this?

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Re: Full face mask causing spots and sores.

Post by Alsacienne » Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:05 pm

Hi Snoozy Quatro and WELCOME!

Congratulations for persevering with the machine so far. I think members of the forum can help you forward with your present problems, and although I'll give you my 'tuppence-worth', there will be others with far better ideas!

You've obviously found your 'sweet spots'! They are basically pressure points and until the pressure from the mask is eased, they won't get better any time soon!

First things first. Pus in a spot indicates an infection. It might be worth going to see your GP for an antibiotic cream or tablets whilst you are working on sorting out the pressure problem so that the problem doesn't get worse 'inside' whilst you're working on the 'outside'.

Remember that the mask (when the machine is on) should be sitting gently against your face rather like the skirt of a hovercraft, rather than jammed hard against it. This means that the soft seal has some flexibility and we need to keep the seal but ease the pressure off the 'sweet spots'. My solution was to use Scholl corn plasters, the soft doughnut ones, sometimes cutting them in half to make a 'half moon' shape so that the sore centre (the bit that you say is pus-filled) was not in contact with the mask, but the seal still worked. Other people have mentioned micropore tape and a gauze pad. These may help you.

The mask may well be too tight. It is VERY easy (and I've made this mistake too when I tested a full face mask (also a Mirage Quattro) a few years ago unsuccessfully for a week) to go too tightly, and you may need help from Nurse Q simply by lying down and asking her to show you how to tweak the top and bottom nose straps AND the forehead wheel in the right combination to get the right fit. It may feel surprisingly loose when you are sitting up and don't have the machine powered up, but when you are lying down and the pressure is on, it will be right.

The cleaning routine you describe seems reasonable but make sure that your face is dry and grease free (ie no cold cream, moisturiser or Oil of Olay etc) when you put your mask on. I have no idea as to what to suggest as regards changing your cleaning routine. I have to admit that I'm no way as rigourous as you are!

I think you'll just have to go back to see Nurse Q and ask her to show you in practical hands-on terms how to fit your mask. It's a shame that this little hiccough has cause such a nasty skin flare. All the very best, and do keep in touch.

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Re: Full face mask causing spots and sores.

Post by Mr Mouse » Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:55 pm

Hi Snoozy,

I have had my machine for 2 weeks now & from word go have had a problem with the full face mask sitting on the bridge of my nose, this is causing that point of my nose to go red & get quite sore overnight. If I try and loosen off the straps the mask leaks as the pressure gradually ramps up overnight, then it blows air into my eyes & wakes me up.

I contacted Papworth & spoke to one of the nurses who said I could try another type of mask that just covers the mouth & has 2 silicon tubes that just sit inside the nostrils, I gave it 2 nights but couldn't get on with it at all as I found it difficult to breathe properly so went back to the full face mask.

I'm continuing to have discomfort issues with my nose using the full face mask, but its easier for me to breath clearly with it. I will continue to persevere with it & discuss this issue at my follow up outpatients appointment in a few weeks time, perhaps I need to try a strip of something on my nose to protect it.

Gerry. :(

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Re: Full face mask causing spots and sores.

Post by Vince Green » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:45 am

I have trouble with the skin on the bridge of my nose, all sore and at one time infected. but just put a little smear of germolene on it in the morning and it seems to be toughening up gradually.


Re: Full face mask causing spots and sores.

Post by Jayzeds » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:52 am

Just a change in mask position sometimes can help bridge of nose soreness. Once you're lying down with the machine on, just gently lift the mask from your face and move it very slightly up or down.

Another thing to try would be a mask liner. I have started using Remzzz and can get several nights from one liner so not so expensie as they look atfirst. They help with leaks & horrible noises too!

Good luck!


Re: Full face mask causing spots and sores.

Post by Guest » Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:40 pm

I constantly get a sore onbend of nose which is puss filled it looks awful!!! I have to wear a sleep mask because the air goes in my eyes!! Ive checked and there is no air escape but its from the vent at the front

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Re: Full face mask causing spots and sores.

Post by Sleep2Snore » Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:10 pm

SnoozyQuatro, what a brilliant mane.

Nothing to add to the discussion except, keep the skin clean as well and only tighten the mask as tight as it needs to be and no more.
Keeping things clean as well as no make up is the best thing you can do, however, if you have greasy skin it can be a problem with spots etc.
There are some creams you can use, however, make sure they do not affect silicone as the seall on the mask is mede from it.
S2S - Sleep2Snore

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