CPAP Mask Rash

Rash From CPAP MaskI’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?

Sean Kaye

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