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CPAP mask causing redness and whiteheads
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CPAP mask causing redness and whiteheads

I was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea and put on a CPAP machine. I have been using it for about 5 days now. I am sleeping OK with it and even think I feel a little clearer in mornings and during the day. My problem is with the mask. After the first day I had painful whiteheads under my nose. I treated them with cream (after they popped) and that is doing a little better. Now the bridge of my nose is very red, a little puffy, and I have 7 small whiteheads there too.

I have cleaned the mask, even with alcohol wipes. Made sure I washed face and used alcohol wipes to clean any oils from skin, and adjusted mask so it is only tight enough to seal. But today the nose is a little worse. I figure others must have experienced similar things and I am looking for advice.

My sleep nurse said she will send me a new mask. I have a respironics gel type and she is sending me a fisher and Paykel "zest" mask. I am a little apprehensive as she is not so attentive and when I offered to email a picture of my nose so she can see what i am talking about she recoiled and said "I don't want to see that". I jsut thought if she saw what I am talking about she can make a more informed decision as to if I need a different mask. again any help would be appreciated.
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1545371_tn?1330802307
Hi, i am a Sleep Physiologist and work with patients on CPAP every day. It sounds very like you have a reaction to the material in the mask. I have seen it before with some patients. Some people have sensitive skin and can have an allergy to the material in the mask. You would need to stop using your machine for a few days to let the nose heal properly, if you continue to allow the mask to irritate the skin you can end up with a pressure sore on your nose. Take a few days without the machine, try using sudocream or nappy cream on your skin as it will heal it faster. The F&P mask might make a difference however sometimes when people react to the mask especially if it is across the bridge of the nose you would need an alternative type. Some examples include nasal pillows (Respironics comfort lite 2 or Fisher & Paykell Opus), Resmed Liberty or Respironics comfort curve. Hope this helps.
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149675_tn?1257636570
thank you so much for your response. you may be right as certain band-aids cause skin irritation for me. Have you ever heard of www.remzzzs.com . I stumbled on their site and saw they make a mask liner for just about every mask out there. I am just not sure if they are any good or not. They appear to be disposable but at almost a buck a day. Any  feed back would be nice. i am thinking of giving it a try. I really do not want to not use my mask as I do feel a little better since using it.
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1545371_tn?1330802307
Hi. Definitely steer clear of plasters on the skin cos they cause more trouble. I have never heard of that company, we tend to deal with Respironics, Resmed, Fisher & Paykell, intermedical because we know they are reputable and we just replace the entire mask if it is causing issues. The sleep nurse should definitely be able to get you a mask that is more suitable.
I know when you get used to the machine you dont want to stop using it but it is important that you stop for 2-3 days to allow the nose to heal properly. I have seen too many people who have a cut form and they wont stop using the machine for a few days and the sore gets so severe that it goes right through to the bone. We have actually taken our patients machines off them for a few days in order for their noses to heal. Please please consider it and i guarantee in the long term you will be better for it. Getting the correct mask is vital. Hope you get sorted.
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Avatar_n_tn
I've talked to others who have used the Remzzzs and said they helped with skin irritation. Others have made their own out of old thin t-shirts.
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Avatar_m_tn
I came here the other day after a google search for the same problem!  I was concerned because I have only had my CPAP for about 6 weeks and was on a third set of yucky white heads and was concerned about my skin but I LOVE LOVE LOVE my CPAP and didn't want to miss a night of sleep.  After reading some of the posts I was scared to use the mask so I tried to approach it with logic......my children used to get really bad diaper rash occasionally when they were babies and the only thing that would work was Bordeaux Butt Paste which is very healing and works as an excellent barrier.  I didn't think that would be enough so I purchased non-stick sterile pads and paper tape (both of which contained ZERO latex)  The pads are about 2" square so I can cut them down to get 6 per pad and I first put some ointment which is white and very thick on the sores on my bridge of my nose then cover it with a small sterile pad and then some paper tape and within 2 days the sores were GONE and now I just use the pad and tape to keep up the barrier and it is perfect!!  Hope that this idea works for someone else and Happy Sleeping!!

Here is a link to the healing ointment: http://www.amazon.com/Boudreauxs-Diaper-Ointment-Maximum-Strength/dp/B00569GU18
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