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Using Nasal Pillow Mask Due to Rash

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Using Nasal Pillow Mask Due to Rash

Postby Paisleylighthouse » Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:11 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm currently using a nasal pillow mask with my CPAP machine and humidifier. I'm having a very hard time getting use to the pillows. They are uncomfortable and irritating against my nostrils - they make them hurt and feel sore. They wake me up in the middle of the night. My rep from Lincare says this will go away, but I have extremely sensitive skin due to a genetic disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I loved my non-pillow mask - Flexifit 405 - that fit over my nose completely, but I started to get a red rash in a triangle around my nose where the mask rested. It would take two weeks for this to clear up and I couldn't wear my mask during the two weeks. When the rash went away, I used my mask again and the rash came right back that night. Other than suffer with the nasal pillow mask, has anyone out there tried covering their nose mask with anything like soft cloth or cotton so that the silicone or mask material doesn't touch the face? If so, what did you use, how did you attach it to the mask, and did it work to the rash from coming back?

Thank you for any help you can give me!
Joan
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Postby pseudonym » Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:44 am

Hello Paisleylighthouse and welcome!

It is certainly possible, though not probable, that you are allergic to your F&P mask. Based on your description, the 'triangle' rash is likely from what is called 'contact dermatitis'. This is not an allergy, but a sensitivity to or irritation from the chemicals used in the manufacture of the mask cushion.

You may be able to go back to using your F&P successfully. Some things you can try:

1. Wash the mask, especially concentrating on the cushion that makes contact with your skin, very vigorously and use lukewarm water. Wash it a dozen or more times, drying the mask completely between each wash. Yes this will take some time and effort but could prove worth it to you. Use unscented baby shampoo or Ivory Liquid (Classic only!) dish detergent. There are a few 'organic' or natural detergents you can use as well. Read the labels and make sure there are no oils or fats in any you use. ("Soap" by definition contains fats and oils, especially coconut.)

2. Try K-Y or other water-soluable lubricant on the part of your mask that contacts your skin. Do not use vaseline, mineral oil, or anything containing oils, fats or petroleum products.

3. Try Mack's Silicone Putty ear plugs and create a 'gasket' on your mask. These are discs of soft, moldable silicone. You can roll out an earplug into a long thin ribbon and apply to the edges of your mask. Thinner is better. This is great for leaky spots too as you can build up a little more silicone putty where you need it. This will lightly stick to your mask and your face, but peels off easily. Many people get several nights from one application.

4. There is a cream sold for people who must wear latex gloves and experience contact dermatitis from the chemicals used in the manufacture of these gloves. It is called "barrier cream", it is a little difficult to come by but is available through medical supply outlets or sometimes a hospital pharmacy. This is a silicone formulation that traps moisture, creating the barrier. Apply to both mask and skin where mask comes in contact.

6. Take a look at the Sleepweaver mask. (Google for Circadiance CPAP mask or Sleepweaver CPAP mask.) This is a cloth nasal mask. It is very comfortable and very quiet. I could not use this mask as my face is very small and the mask is only one size, it's too big for me. They offer a 30-day money back guarantee right on the website, you don't need to go through DME just order. If you have insurance, they have on the website the insurance codes you need to bill your insurance (do check with your insurance first to make sure YOU can bill them without going through DME or doctor. Most/all will do this but check first to be sure.)

If none of these 'tricks' make your F&P mask usable for you, try looking at some of the other nasal cushion masks available. Many DME's will give you a 30 day trial at no cost of a mask, this should be sufficient for you to determine if another manufacturer's mask has chemicals that will bother you.

You might also take a look at the mask I use. It is a full face mask. I don't need a full face mask (I'm not a mouth breather) but I've found this mask to be the most comfortable and quiet of any mask I've tried (nearly a dozen now). It is called the Hans Rudolph Full Face Mask, google for it. It will be called the VIP, VIP 7600, 7600. You can see it at Direct Home Medical for one. There is a picture in the gallery of masks here on this site, too.

It is one piece molded soft silicone, with an optional thin silicone insert for the nose if the nose has leaks. It is a goofy looking mask (!) especially the headgear but it stays put and is very comfortable IMO. There is a newer model called the V2 which is slightly different shape one piece silicone and does not need the nose insert. The V2 headgear is simpler and attaches to the mask a little differently.

I hope this helps. Best of luck to you, blessings,
--pseudonym
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Postby Bearded One » Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:28 am

You could also try stickng medical tape on the parts of the mask that contact your face. 3M makes several tapes and you might want to try one of them. Try a type that doesn't have holes in it. I think that 3M makes a foam tape, which might work. It might be a challenge to get tape to stick to silicone.
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Thank you so much!

Postby Paisleylighthouse » Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:31 am

Thank you so much for the very detailed response and multiple ideas! I will try them. It would be great if I could go back to using my flexifit 405 mask. What a wonderful find this group is!

Joan
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Postby pseudonym » Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:58 pm

@Joan You're welcome! Glad we could help.

@Bearded One Great idea, I had forgotten about the microfoam tape. Could work very well.

Blessings,
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REPLY TO BEARDED ONE

Postby Paisleylighthouse » Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:54 pm

To Bearded One:

Thank you for the foam tape suggestion. That might be a good option for me. I'm allergic to medical paper tape, but foam tape just might work!

You all have given me some wonderful suggestions to try! What a great site full of such kind people.

Joan
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Postby robing » Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:41 pm

I use the OptiLife Nasal Pillow for about 2 weeks now.
My question is a little off base to this thread.
Has anyone suffered with bad headaches when first starting with the Cpap ?
The last few days I have been suffering with bad a headache.
Is there any coralation between the mask or pressure that could be causing my headaches?
Any help would be apprecaited.
Thanks and God bless,
Robin
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Postby virginia57 » Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:17 pm

Call your doctor and let him know about the headaches. If you never had headaches before cpap, or you had morning headaches and they don't go away with cpap, then something is wrong. Virginia
Resmed elite , 17, mirage quattro ff . 25 + years of untreated OSA
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Postby pseudonym » Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:03 pm

robing wrote:I use the OptiLife Nasal Pillow for about 2 weeks now.
My question is a little off base to this thread.
Has anyone suffered with bad headaches when first starting with the Cpap ?
The last few days I have been suffering with bad a headache.
Is there any coralation between the mask or pressure that could be causing my headaches?
Any help would be apprecaited.
Thanks and God bless,
Robin
:-o

Yes I suffered horrible headaches lasting 10 days or more at a time on CPAP. No drug would touch them. I would stop CPAP and they would go away on their own within a day or two. Start CPAP again and they'd return that night. Never had headaches before CPAP!

In my case I needed warmer air and a different mask. I was using nasal pillows mask and the rush of air at pressure 14 was very irritating for me. Also my room was too cold, about 65F degrees. I bought an Aussie Heated Hose by Sleepzone (google for it) which warms the CPAP air 6-8 degrees. I also tried several nasal cushion masks and a full face mask. I ended up with a full face mask because it diffuses the rush of air so much better than the nasal masks. The Aussie hose and a full face mask together solved the problem for me.

Try to isolate what you think might be causing the headaches. Are you anxious or uptight if you can't fall asleep or if you are awakened by the noise of the machine or the mask leaking? That will cause tension headaches. Is the room cold? Are you at a pressure that irritates your sinuses?

Blessings,
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