How to Protect Your Ears While Wearing a Face Mask

Wearing a mask isn't always easy on the ears.
Wearing a mask isn't always easy on the ears. / patpitchaya/Getty Images

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, many people have discovered the challenges of wearing a face mask every day. There are tricks for stopping them from fogging up your glasses and making your face hot, but if your mask is tight around your ears, irritation may seem inevitable. Fortunately, there are ways to protect the skin behind your ears without ditching the mask altogether.

According to Today, the around-the-ear loops on many face masks can cause inflammation and even blistering after rubbing against your skin all day. The best way to prevent this is to reduce contact between the ear loops and your skin. If you already made a DIY mask at home, you can put those crafting skills to use again by attaching a couple of buttons to a hat or headband. When it's time to put on your mask, loop the straps over the buttons instead of your ears to save yourself from discomfort. You can also use bobby pins or hair clips to secure the loops to the hair behind your ears—no crafting required.

For those of you who lack the hair or sewing skills to try either of the solutions above, look for silicone foam bandages. Applying adhesive bandages to the backs of your ears can protect them from blistering the same way bandages on the backs of your heels protect you from shoes that don't fit right.

These fixes work in a pinch, but you should consider upgrading your mask if you plan on wearing one long-term. Masks that tie or loop around the back of the head won't rub against your ears. No matter what style of mask you buy, natural fibers like cotton tend to be less irritating to the skin. Cotton is the most comfortable face mask material for the hot summer months.

[h/t Today]