I’ve had the strangest problem. I was just in the bathroom washing my hands at work and I noticed that I have a big red rash on my face where my Simplus full face mask sits while I sleep!
I’m not sure when or how it appeared, it certainly wasn’t there when I left the house this morning, but it’s there now. I’ve been struck by CPAP mask rash.
I think I know what happened.
Shaving and CPAP Masks
Last night before bed I decided to shave. I find that when I have cleanly shaven skin my mask gets a better seal and my AHI is reduced slightly. Also, I must admit, it saves me time in the morning during my mad rush to get ready for work and get out the door. One subtle difference in my shaving routine last night though, I used a new skin care product – an after shave gel to cool my skin.
Clearly, the silicon of the Ssimplus mask has some kind of reaction with the after shave and irritated my skin while I slept. The rash doesn’t hurt really, my skin is a bit more tingly than normal and a little itchy now that I think about it, but it’s not burning or anything like that.
The bigger problem, of course, is that I look a bit silly with this red rash ring around my mouth. Nobody has commented yet and I’m about two hours away from finishing work for the day, I’ve got one telephone conference and a half hour meeting to get through without being completely embarrassed!
Obviously, the lesson learned from this episode is that I need to make sure that I don’t use any skin care products on my face before I use my mask and go to bed. My wife is going to give my CPAP mask a really good scrub today to make sure there’s no residue on it and exacerbate the problem while I’m sleeping tonight.
Hopefully, this silly looking irritation goes away overnight, I’d hate to wake up in the morning with it again. Has anyone else had a similar problem?
20 thoughts on “CPAP Mask Rash”
well im not using any skin care products and still am getting a dry eczema type rash, mask burns to be close to my skin. its really irritating. seeing that you have to use the machine, but yet it gives me a rash catch 22
It is a nasty catch 22.
Have you seen Pad-A-Cheek mask liners? I’ve not used them, but they are a microfibre cover for your mask and thus create a small barrier between your skin and the silicone seal of the CPAP Mask.
They’re only about $20, so it might be worth trying them out and seeing if they help you out.
Let us know how you’ve gotten on if you choose to try them!
I was told by my doctor that the red rash is actually a fungus, similar to atheletes foot or jock itch. I would consult your doctor about yours.
Yeah, I suppose it was a minor fungal infection, but it was caused by the face cream I’d used but forgot to wash off.
Lesson learned! I’ve not made that mistake again.
I would agree with the doctor. I had something similar and tried a few different creams. What worked best was something for athlete’s foot and jock itch. Lesson learned, I plan to wash my mask more often.
I have found that just giving my face a really good wash with no soap or anything before bed and then using a Resmed Mask Wipe on the mask before using it worked a treat for me.
Glad you found your solution though!
I have this rash & think I am allergic to what the mask is made of. I am going to my Respiratory specialist next week to see if we can find something else I can use. I have heard the cloth things interfere with the seal, so I don’t know if I would want to try that.
The masks are usually made with medical grade silicone so it’s not out of the question that you may be allergic to it.
I’ve tried those cloth things out of interest in the past as an experiment and I could see how they would cause “seal” issues.
I wear my mask really tightly and getting the tightness balanced is a challenge. If the top is too tight when I’m asleep the seal around my chin breaks and if the top is too loose, the air escapes into my eyes which is super annoying.
When I tried the cloth covers a few times, it wasn’t a problem for me with the seal because of how tightly I wear the mask.
Hope you and your sleep tech find an answer. It might be worth trying a different brand of mask.
Just as an aside, my sleep technician told me that a number of women have problems with rashes because of their night time “beauty regimen”. They apply skin products and creams but don’t wash them off and the silicone interacts with that.
The other one he told me was that sometimes if you have heated air flowing through it can cause your skin to sweat a bit and this causes some irritation. I never use the heat setting on my CPAP machine.
Can CPAP benefits boost your health if you have sleep apnea or snoring? And is it worth it to sleep with a mask on your face every night?
I wear my mask every night and have done for the past four years since I got the CPAP machine – the quality of life change has been massive. You don’t know how much of fog you’re living in because of lack of sleep until you actually get a good night’s sleep with the CPAP machine.
The American Sleep Apnea Association notes that both dry skin and excess skin oil can keep your mask from forming an effective seal. Moisturizers and petroleum-based products can react with the part of the mask that touches your face; however, the ASAA suggests you look into specialty moisturizers designed for CPAP mask users.
My skin is naturally pretty good, so I don’t need moisturizers.
Occasionally the weather gets a bit dry here in Sydney and so a moisturizer can help.
Since my rash problem a few years back, I’ve stopped using moisturizers on my face and haven’t had an issue since.
I have the exact same rash as in the photo. I have been using a CPAP for over five years and this is the first time this has happened. I didn’t think about it but I bet it is from a different soap I was using.
I got blotchy red skin from the silicone face mask and now use the Res Med soft or air-touch masks. You just can’t put them in the So-Clean device.
I noticed a reddening around my mouth today. I use an electronic shaver and don’t use any moisturiser at all so it had to be one of two things, not cleaning the mask after 3 nights of using it or I’m allergic to silicone. I have washed the mask today and used some eumovate to bring down the rash. I will have a good wash and dry tonight and see how I get on.
I am having the same problem and now the itchy red rash is spreading under my eye hopefully in the morning after seeing my doctor this will be taken care of .
I have a rash that is actually scabbing and when I roll over I feel moisture dripping from side to side which is what I have the biggest problem with why is this happening please
Went to the doctor about my rash from full face mask. Turns out I’m allergic to silicone, latex and rubber products. Have try other equipment options.
I once was advised to use a creme (can’t remember the name) for possible skin cancer. Applying it onto my face before bed, it was supposed to kill any possible cancer cells. Well I rubbed it on and put on my cpap mask. Next morning my face had deep burns on my cheeks and around my nose in the exact shape of my mask. Turns out the mask occluded the creme and it burned very deep into my skin. I now never put it on over anything, even plain night creams.
I did not know that you can’t put the ResMed nasal cushions or tubing in the SoClean!!! I have been using the same kind of nasal mask (new ResMed 2 years ago!) But the lower level ResMed for 8 years so a total of 10 years and I never got a rash. Until I got the covid vaccine. I know this sounds strange, and it’s only been 6 days, but I have been feeling very sick and then this rash popped up all over my nose and upper lip from my cushion. Don’t know whether it’s 6 weeks of using my so clean clean or the vaccine. Well all I know is I don’t want to leave the house! That’s how bad I look as a woman if 66! Tonight I’m not using anything except for cortisone cream. ?