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Why am I waking up with CPAP mask marks on my face?

Sleep apnea support Nov, 02 2023

Ways to help prevent mask rashes and lines

Some CPAP* users, especially those new to the therapy, complain they wake up with mask rashes, marks or lines on their faces.1

There are many reasons a therapy user would wake up with CPAP mask marks but, thankfully, there are also several ways to help alleviate the issue.

We look at a few of these prevention methods here.

  1. Choose the right mask type for you: Selecting the right CPAP mask is of the utmost importance for anyone new to the therapy. If you are concerned about pressure marks, you may wish to consider using masks that have a smaller footprint on your face, such as a nasal mask and nasal pillows mask.

  2. Ensure your mask is fitting correctly: It is important you achieve a good seal with your mask to avoid mask leak. Try not to overtighten your mask as this can cause leaks and marks on the face. A well-fitted mask and no air leakage will improve the effectiveness of your therapy.

  3. Upgrade your mask: CPAP mask designs have been greatly enhanced over the years to better provide secure seal performance in tandem with improved headgear stability and comfort. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare’s Evora™ Nasal and Brevida™ nasal pillows masks are good examples of this. If you have been using the same mask for a while, it could be time to consider an upgrade, especially if it is starting to wear.

  4. Clean your mask regularly: A common cause of mask irritations and rashes is a buildup of bacteria created by dirt and oil from your skin. It is therefore important to clean your mask thoroughly and regularly. Always check the user instructions accompanying your mask on how to effectively clean the product.

If you wish to learn more about cleaning your mask, go to How to clean a CPAP mask and hose.

And remember, finding a mask that fits well and provides you with a good seal is key to the effectiveness of your therapy. To learn more about mask types, read Which type of CPAP mask is right for me? 
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