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]

Save Up to 80 Percent on Furniture, Home Decor, and Appliances During Wayfair's Way Day 2020 Sale

Wayfair
Wayfair

From September 23 to September 24, customers can get as much as 80 percent off home decor, furniture, WFH essentials, kitchen appliances, and more during the Wayfair's Way Day 2020 sale. Additionally, when you buy a select Samsung appliance during the sale, you'll also get a $200 Wayfair gift card once the product ships. Make sure to see all that the Way Day 2020 sale has to offer. These prices won’t last long, so we've also compiled a list of the best deals for your home below.

Rugs

AllModern/Wayfair

- Mistana Hillsby Power Loom Beige Saffron/Teal Rug $49 (save $97)

- Wrought Studios Shuff Abstract Blue Area Rug $100 (save $105)

- All Modern Lydia Southwestern Cream/Charcoal Area Rug $49 (save $100)

- Union Rustic Gunter Power Loom Blue/Khaki Rug $22 (save $38)

- Willa Arlo Interiors Omri Oriental Light Gray/Ivory Area Rug $49 (save $149)

Furniture

Langley Street/Wayfair

- Alwyn Home 14-inch Medium Gel Memory Foam King Mattress $580 (save $1420)

- Andover Mills Pascal Upholstered King Bed Frame $318 (save $832)

- Sol 72 Outdoor 8-Piece Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $650 (save $1180)

- Langley Street Darren 68-Inch Tuxedo Arm Sofa $340 (save $1410)

- Three Posts Tyronza Coffee Table $147 (save $193)

Kitchen

NutriBullet/Wayfair

- Cuisinart 11-Piece Aluminum Non Stick Cookware Set $100 (save $200)

- Rachael Ray Cucina 10-Piece Non-Stick Bakeware Set $92 (save $108)

- NutriBullet Rx Smart 45-Ounce Personal Countertop Blender $124 (save $56)

- Henckels Graphite 13-Piece Knife Block Set $160 (save $340)

- DeLonghi ECP3220 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine $120 (save $90)

Electronics

Samsung/Wayfair

- Samsung 36-Inch French Door Energy Smart Refrigerator $3600 (save $400)

- Cosmo 30-Inch Freestanding Electric Range Oven $1420 (save $1580)

- Whynter 19-Bottle Single Zone Built-In Wine Refrigerator $380 (save $232)

- bObsweep PetHair Robotic Vacuum Cleaner with Mop Attachment $226 (save $443)

- Rowenta Focus 1700 Iron with Burst of Steam $68 (save $47)

Work From Home Essentials

Foundery Select/Wayfair

- Techi Mobili Adjustable Laptop Cart $50 (save $20)

- Foundry Select Arsenault Farmhouse Desk $210 (save $190)

- Symple Stuff Clay Mesh Task Chair $128 (save $121)

- Three Posts Salina Standard Bookcase $183 (save $617)

- Lorell Hard Floor Chairmat $52 (save $39)

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A Man Died From Eating Too Much Black Licorice—Here's How That Can Happen

Black licorice can have serious health consequences when it's consumed in excess.
Black licorice can have serious health consequences when it's consumed in excess.
Moussa81/iStock via Getty Images

While we don’t often think of food as having the potential to prove lethal in large doses, in rare cases it’s certainly possible. Case in point: According to the Associated Press, a 54-year-old man in Massachusetts died last year after consuming an excessive amount of black licorice candy, which is a popular Halloween treat.

In the case, which was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the unnamed man passed away as a result of his heart stopping. The event is believed to have been brought on by his regular and excessive intake of black licorice, which contains glycyrrhizic acid, also known as glycyrrhizin, a sweetening compound found in the licorice root which can cause high blood pressure, heart rhythm irregularities, and potassium and electrolyte imbalances when ingested in large quantities.

The man reportedly ate a bag and a half of black licorice daily for several weeks before collapsing. Doctors determined he suffered from low potassium, which created irregular heart rhythms.

The case has brought more attention to the dangers of glycyrrhizic acid, which the Food and Drug Administration warns can be harmful in amounts found in as little as 2 ounces of black licorice per day when eaten consistently over a two-week period. The compound is also found in jelly beans, licorice teas, and other food. Those with existing heart conditions should take particular care not to overindulge.

[h/t Associated Press]