How to correctly fit a surgical face mask

How to correctly fit a surgical face mask

We’ll admit it, putting on a face mask correctly may not seem like rocket science, but it’s actually a really important safety precaution you should consider before fitting any face mask. Improper use of face masks might accidentally expose yourself further to the possibility of catching a virus or other harmful bacteria. In this post, we’ll cover the correct way to wear a disposable surgical face mask (sometimes called medical masks or Type IIR masks).

First things first, before putting on a face mask, you should always clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser or soap and water, taking steps to ensure you are washing your hands for at least 20 seconds.

Surgical masks are designed to be worn in one way only, however it can be difficult to know what that correct way is. When looking at your surgical mask, typically one side is coloured blue or green and one side is white. Usually, the fluid repellent layer of a surgical mask is the coloured side and they should be worn with the coloured side facing out. Think of it this way – you want to show off your colours!

When fitting your mask, you should remove the face mask from the packaging holding the mask on the edges only and avoid touching the layers of the mask. Then fit the stiff edge of the mask on the bridge of your nose and place the loops over your ears to secure the mask. To achieve a snug fit, lightly pinch the stiff strip of your mask to shape it around the side of your nose then gently pull the mask under your chin.

Once it is secure avoid touching any part of the mask whist it is in use. However tempting it may be to remove your mask for a moment, doing so could expose your fingers and face to any viruses or bacteria you’re trying to avoid. We understand that wearing a mask can take a while to get used to, but unless you feel breathless, light-headed or unwell your mask should remain over your nose and mouth throughout the period it is in use.

When removing your face mask you should do so using the ear loops at the side of the mask and place it directly in to a waste bin. If it is an indoor bin you may want to consider placing your used mask into a plastic bag (like a nappy sack or similar) first. Always remember to wash or sanitise your hands again after removal.

Finally, it’s important to make sure the masks you are using are high-quality in the first place. Our OptiPro Surgical Masks are CE marked, adhere to EN standards, and feature a protective 3-ply design which creates an effective barrier to provide superior levels of protection for the nose and mouth. You can find out more here.

Browse our Infection Control range

In addition to our OptiPro Surgical Masks, Optimum Medical provides a wide range of high-quality Infection Control products. Find out more here.