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I need help...

My company is doing a half million project, pulling up the old rugs, sandblasting, treating and putting down new carpet due to mold that has been growing for years under the old.

My doctor told me I should have a mask and I went to his office and picked one up. It hooked over my ears and had a wire or something on the top under the fabric and some type of additional blue flap on the inside upper part.

After finally putting it on :shock: , I wore it half day Monday and the whole day Tuesday until I stopped wearing it. Wednesday, when I touched the top part of my nose it felt like I had a car wreck and had slammed my nose against the steering wheel. The sides, right under the bridge of my nose, started swelling and it was red. It hurt and had almost a burning/numbing pain. I figured it was a reaction to the mask (the blue flap latex maybe?) and it would go away.

I went to the PA at my doctor's office on Friday because by now I couldnt' even sleep, I would keep waking up in pain. She said it was a reaction and gave me cream, which isn't really helping much yet. I had antibiodics at home which I also decided to take in case I also have some sinusitis going on from the damn mold since I do have a slightly runny nose. Meanwhile, I still have pain and swelling.

My question is this: Has anyone ever had a reaction to a surgical mask or some type of face covering and had these symptoms? As you know, my small town isn't exactly the mecca of health care and I'm not exactly a pillar of mental health so the combination is driving me crazy.....

Thanks for reading my ramble...

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Hi Debi: I am not sure what kind of mask you tried. I have never tried a mask and so have not had a reaction. Have you tried an Occupational Safety and Health Administration( OSHA) approved respirator? Maybe you could have an air purifier temporarily installed and not even need a mask. Your employer is obligated to provide a safe working environment for you. Look in to the air purifier thing. The link is to an OSHA site. I think the situation you describe at your worksite would be unhealthy for anyone, not just lung canceer surviors.

Don M

http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp ... p_id=12716

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Deb ....I'm thinking cellulitis! And if that is what it is, you need to get on antibiotics quick. Cellulitis on the face is nothing to mess with...as it can go into meningitis. I don't mean to scare you...but I had no clue what cellulitis was until I got it. Ten days of antibiotics took care of it for me...although the swelling lasted a while.

I ended up with it about a year ago. Not sure how, in my case, but it started on the side of my nose. By the time it was a bit swollen and red...and the red was creeping up towards my eye...I went to the doc. Thank goodness I did! Usually the bacteria gets in thru a small cut in the skin.

Go to the doctor again and ASK if it could be cellulitis. At least it will get them thinking about whether it's possible...and perhaps they'll get you on antibiotics just to be safe.

Hope it's just an skin irritation you have, from the mask...but you need a doc to tell you for sure. Go see one...and then let us know, ok? I'll be thinking about you till I hear back....

P.S. Back to post these symptoms of cellulitis....and a risk factor for cellulitis is either immunosuppressive drugs or steroids. When I got it, I was on prednisone.

Localized skin redness or inflammation that increases in size as the infection spreads

Tight, glossy, "stretched" appearance of the skin

Pain or tenderness of the area

Skin lesion or rash (macule):

Sudden onset

Usually with sharp borders

Rapid growth within the first 24 hours

Warmth over the area of redness


Other signs of infection:

Chills, shaking

Warm skin, sweating


Muscle aches, pains (myalgias)

General ill feeling (malaise)

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If there were mold spores all around you may also have a mold infection in the skin. (happens, Folks, and antibiotics that work on germs do not usuallywork on mold and fungal infections...as a matter of fact they can make a mold of fungal infection worse!). Debi, not to be an alarmist, but go to the doc and get it treated by someone who has a license to practice medicine. You just don't want to fool around with something that could potentially lead to an infection in your brain. And if it's on or in the nose, that's exactly where it leads to.

Hoping it's an easy fix....

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You probably had an allergic reaction to both the mold and latex. The masks are only good for only a few hours. Then you must wear a fresh one. I had to wear them at work, which displeased my boss. He wanted me to stay home. Yeah, who can afford it! No sick time left. Go to the hospital, and they will sell you some, that they use in surgery. Hope you fell better.


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Go and get thyself taken care of, ya hear? How very strange. As usual, I am clueless!

The strangest thing I experienced (so far) was that the tape they use that looks like Saran Wrap (it has a name but I don't know what it is) caused a reaction when they used it over the marks on my chest when I started radiation. The ones on my upper chest & belly actually caused blisters on about the 2nd day. Ouchie. There was tape on both sides, and it didn't bother me at all, so I left it on there for another day until it started itching.

When they redid the marks for the last half of radiation, I let them put that tape on my sides, thinking it would just be a day or so, but that time, it started itching almost immediately, and one side developed a little blister within just a few hours.

In the ER visit I had recently, they used the tape on the back of my hand to cover the IV, and it didn't bother me at all. I guess I have sensitive skin, but only in places!

I've sure never had anything like you described -- where something that you'd think was related to skin caused so much pain. I hope they figure this out and fast! Let us know, ok??


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I'm not "allergic" to latex (I've been tested), but I have a latex sensitivity. Face skin is even more sensitive than body skin...

When you develop a sensitivity, it DOES get worse every time you are exposed. I agree that you should talk to your doctor, maybe even see a dermatologist to rule IN "just sensitivity" and get ya some treatment so you don't end up with scarring on your nose.

Ya don't wanna claim you're allergic to latex if it is just a sensitivity - techs can change to neoprene gloves (as well as the dentist, etc.), but LATEX is in the IV catheters, blood letting supplies and the like. To truly be allergic to latex is a big cause for concern (as was explained to me, anyway)...

Hope your shnoze clears up and the danger of the office dusts goes away (or you get some paid time off - do you have work restrictions? I do...).

Take care,


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I agree! Go to your local hosptial and ask for a hepa filter mask, tell them your situation and I'm sure they'll at least sell you one. We have to use them for all airborn deseases like TB and such, but they filter out very small particals. And they are latex free, just to be safe on that issue.

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