CPAP is considered the best treatment for sleep apnea, but it comes with many side effects. One of the most common and annoying side effects of CPAP is acne. Many people find that they experience breakouts wherever the mask, straps, and hoses contact their face. There are many different approaches to trying to deal with this problem, but in many cases the only effective solution is to get a CPAP alternative.
Optimal Skin Care
The first thing to try is to optimize your skincare routine. Talk to an aesthetician or, preferably, a dermatologist about your skin problems and find out what’s the optimal way to reduce your risk of acne while ensuring your skin stays healthy.
Ensure Optimal Mask Fit
Acne could be related to having a mask that is either too tight (so it causes irritation due to pressure) or too loose (so it causes irritation as the straps and mask mover around in the night). Ensuring that your mask is just tight enough to stay in place overnight could reduce or eliminate acne.
Try a Different Mask
Another potential solution is to try different masks. Not all masks contact your face as much, so getting a mask with a smaller contact area could dramatically reduce your acne. And if the new mask isn’t contacting any areas where you’re acne-prone, you might see your acne go away altogether.
Unfortunately, you may not have the freedom to choose any mask you want. Depending on your anatomy and the severity of your sleep apnea, your choice of masks may be limited.
Get a Cloth Buffer
If you notice that you’re only developing acne in places where specific materials contact your face, such as the silicone seal, using a cloth buffer between your skin and the material may help. There are some companies that sell these kinds of solutions, but if you want to make your own, that’s easy, too. Take an old t-shirt and trace the areas where the material in question contacts your skin.
Try an Oral Appliance
Of course, there’s also the option of getting rid of CPAP once and for all. If you’re a good candidate for oral appliances, they can get you results that are as good as CPAP, but without the mask, straps, and hose. It’s a comfortable solution that won’t make your skin break out.
To learn whether you’re a candidate for an oral sleep appliance, please call (402) 493-4175 for an appointment with an Omaha sleep dentist at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center.