Face masks/coverings and psoriasis

These became mandatory in the UK in shops yesterday. There is a lengthy list of exemptions, including breathing issues, mental health conditions etc. But the one thing missing on that list seems to me to be psoriasis! Why isn’t it included? That makes no sense to me whatsoever. If you have a bout of psoriasis on your face, the last thing you want to do is to cover it up - especially in the summer, where it’s then going to sweat, and make the psoriasis ten times worse. The same is true for other skin conditions affecting the fact, like eczema etc.

Anyone else thinks this yet another oddity in the weird and wonderful world of UK Coronavirus?

I’m in the states, in NY. We’ve had a mask mandate for a few months now.

In terms of psoriasis on the face, I might prefer a gaiter type face covering instead of a mask. It’s lighter weight, and doesn’t have any edges to dig in to your skin. The material is typically very breathable, and fast drying.

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But @darinfan the face covering is only to worn ‘inside’ shops mostly. They’re to be worn during the ‘transaction of shopping’. None of those transactions take an awfully long time anymore but for the queuing. Once you’ve ‘transacted your shopping’ and are outside again properly and able to be away from other people, you can take your mask off. All my such transactions to date (but bear in mind I don’t go into supermarkets etc yet), have taken nothing but minutes. Hardly horrible at all.

It’s far worse mask wise when you have to visit a hospital like I’ve done recently for MRI’s etc. Masks are totally mandatory in hopsitals and have been for some weeks, you simply won’t be seen to without one. Try doing a 45 min MRI scan in a mask? I’ve an hour or so’s CT scan coming up next weekend too but at least they’re less enclosed. But I will have to wear a face covering. I actually think that’s right and proper too.

And I’m appalled the UK didn’t bring in face coverings weeks and weeks ago too. Bottom line is that they do slow the spread. Anything this easy that can do that is surely sensible. Most people I know with psoriasis, eczema etc etc on their face will be only too glad to have it covered up legitimately for once as well. Stops the looks and the questions.

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I completely agree with Poo. Face masks can help to prevent transmission and may confer some protection on the wearer.

Everywhere I go I see non-compliance with masks and social-distancing. I could weep. We need to all look after each other. I appreciate that the masks can be inconvenient and uncomfortable but they’re needed.

Sad truth is that the big stores and a lot of the smaller ones will never try to enforce or even encourage this - they are just desperate for our money. I think what is really weird and regrettable is the government’s erratic, lackadaisical approach to these measures and the confusion that ensues.

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I had surgery with mandatory masks. I had the mask off when I woke up in recovery, but once I was feeling better, it went right back on again. It’s just how things needs to be right now.

In the states, a lot of stores are mandating masks even in states that they’re not required. This is both small stores and big national chain stores such as Walmart. I’m glad.

Now we just need to figure out schools. Our lovely president is insisting that it’s safe for schools to be fully opened.

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There is no ways for shops to enforce masks. Anyone who is intent on not wearing one will just say they are exempt and no proof needs to be given. How therefore can a shop enforce them when that’s the situation - and that’s without the very real threat of violence that shop assistants would face if they tried to stop people coming in.

I am not against wearing them, but it does make my psoriasis considerably worse. It’s fine putting them on for the five minutes at a time you are in a shop - but not so fine when all shops are in an enclosed shopping centre and we therefore need to wear them for the entire time we are out.
The decision for them to be mandatory in the shopping centre/mall and not just the shops causes much of the problem, and makes little sense considering how much ventilation there is. As with so many things, it does not appear to be thought through - no need for them in a cinema, or a pub, or a restaurant before and after your meal, but there is in a massive mall where you could spend a couple of hours. But not in the cafes in the mall, of course!

I am so afraid, that when I have to go to shops or hospital I wear a surgical mask, if that is the name of the light blue papery one.
Unfortunately , due to breathing insufficiency I cannot have it over my nose, so I also wear a plastic welder style shield on top of the mask.

I also try to limit time in air conditioned places. Italy is threatening future lockdowns if new mass gatherings will take place, and immigration and tourism apparently create some concern. Torrid heat at the mo in Rome,

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I must admit it’s a bit different for me, as I’m in what is just about the lowest affected area of England. And that only goes to show how much better off the whole UK would have been if we had gone into lockdown earlier. We got the virus much later here in Norfolk (about ten days prior to lockdown), and so the lockdown came earlier in the cycle of the virus as it hadn’t had time to get hold. We had around ten cases in Norfolk last week out of 900,000 people.

I confess I’d much rather wear a visor but, in typical UK govt fashion, no-one knows whether they count as a face covering here. There was a panel of experts on the BBC answering questions about face coverings on Friday, and they didn’t know if they counted either! You can use them in Scotland, but no info in England!

For those of us in towns and cities where virtually all shops are in an enclosed shopping centre (where you’d have to wear a mask all the time you are in the shopping centre/mall), perhaps visors could be used in the shopping centre and masks put on just for when we are in individual shops. That would be quite a good solution, I think. But there’s no-one to ask, and no more info coming from the govt on the issue.

I think the biggest single problem in the UK is lack of clear, useful information from the govt, and some kind of reasoning behind it. I think if people had clear information that made sense, there would be far less breaking of the rules. For example, the govt says it’s fine not to wear a face mask when you’re having a haircut or getting a manicure. Why is that?

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Doesn’t sound too hot, though confusion appears to be rife in more than one country. The governor of Campania issued severe 1000e fines for anyone caught without masks even outside if remember correctly

Yep, ‘enforce’ was the wrong word to use for the reasons you mention. But they can encourage clearly and sympathetically, not all are doing this by a long chalk.

I’m not sure if I can find it, but I did recently see a news item that the face Shields alone will not protect you. There was a small group people that wound up being exposed to Coronavirus. Some had just masks on and some had just shields on and the only people that got sick were the ones with the shields only.

Even though it was a small group, it does go to show that the mask is what’s important.

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Yes, I saw something similar, but in that group nobody was wearing a mask, just a shield. But I guess that, as with masks, it depends on how good the shield is with regards to how it is made, and how far it goes below the chin etc.

The problem is that it shouldn’t be up to us, the general public, to try to work these things out. We’ve had this virus long enough now for basic things like shields and masks to have been tested, even on a basic level, so that guidance and advice can be given.

The UK govt keeps saying it’s doing things “guided by the science,” but if that’s the case why are the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish assemblies doing different things to England. They’re all getting the same scientific data! Ever since lockdown started to be lifted here, I’ve felt that it’s been guided by the press, the pollsters, and the back-benchers in the Commons rather than the science. It’s not a coincidence that lots of people start asking “why can’t we do X” and then suddenly, three days later, it becomes govt policy! Perhaps I’m just cynical!

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Here is the link regarding shields - https://www.thelocal.ch/20200715/only-those-with-plastic-visors-were-infected-swiss-government-warns-against-face-shields?fbclid=IwAR2EFF0O6J-MuyVLd2Z_l5wfRLHDIlMJESHUKEQblzL-T1d-VexDE6p5On0


I think the science is pretty clear a visor isn’t as good as a mask. It can’t be given it’s open at the bottom and your breath has nowhere to go but out the bottom of it.

However if you were to wear a scarf covering the bottom of the visor that would surely be better assuming the visor then didn’t mist up, like my glasses do with a mask.

It’s a ‘face covering’ Darinfan as in nose and mouth covering. I don’t actually think we need to be ‘fed’ such preciseness as you’re suggesting by the government though. I don’t actually think that’s at all appropriate. We’re not children are we? I don’t rate this government that much and neither do I rate Scotland’s First Minister. But both are giving appropriate ‘guidance’ nonetheless which is simple ‘wear a face covering’ when shopping and interacting with others in the general public.

The science isn’t actually clear on it yet other than it slows transmission right down when two or more people are together all wearing a ‘face covering’. There’s even issues with the airflow masks anyhow or so I’ve read. And not let’s not even get into the fact that if you’re reliant on lip reading to communicate how all this makes a significant number of such people feel.

I think the edict is you were a ‘face covering’ and how you fashion that is down to you. I have cloth masks with extra inserts so at least they’re not ‘papery’ but carrying on any significant conversation in them is difficult and a bit clostrophobic (spelling). I also have a face shield and I might use that plus a scarf for my long CT scan next weekend as it might turn out to be a lot more comfortable for the extended time I need to have my nose and face covered.

But whatever way I work it, I will ensure to have my mouth and nose ‘covered’ so I can’t breathe all over anyone else and neither can someone else breathe directly on my nose and mouth either. If I can manage that and they can manage that, then we’ve got somewhere more sensible, haven’t we?


Funny, I spent so much of my 20’s wearing dust masks in filthy, dusty, 43deg C heat 12 hours a day, I didn’t think it would be much deal to pop on a cloth one for a trip to the shops.

They’ve just brought them in as mandatory in one of our states, and there have been a few muppets carrying on about human rights and filming poor shop employees while they (the person who refused to wear the mask) berated the employees. Apparently the anti-masker was found on Facebook and some not very nice things were said. I did see the film, and they did really hassle the employees, so I hope the employees are ok (they’ve received thousands of messages of support so probably are now).

I can imagine for some there would be some real challenges - as Poo says, lip reading for starters, and it could certainly be quite uncomfortable for some. Probably better than dead though, and the science is very clear that it cuts transmission by around 60%, which is nothing to sneeze at.

We have a bloke called Norman Swan on our ABC who reports on this sort of stuff, and there are recommendations on the the best type of face covering - with at least some level of evidence I think. He was very clear visors are not a substitute for masks, and that masks need to be close fitting with no gaps around the face.

I bought a spiffy cloth one, three layers, machine washable, or sterilised via a microwave, for when we get the mandatory regulations here. We currently have zero community spread, but one of the other states of Australia is in trouble, so it seems that might happen before a vaccine. I’ve got some other weird inflammatory skin thing coming and going on my face - so that’ll be fun! Still, I feel like I’ve got it as organised as I can.


We might be told to wear a “face covering,” Poo, but if things were as cut and dried as you suggest regarding it should simply cover nose and mouth, why does a shield count as a face-covering in Scotland? And this is my overall point. If the “science” is driving this, as both leaders keep telling us, why are there two very different rules within the UK coming from the same scientific advice? And I’d also suggest that Scotland has been more careful coming out of lockdown than England has - so, again, why the shield there but not (seemingly) in England?

It’s this inconsistency that I’m driving at here as the problem with the whole Corona situation - not whether or not I should have to wear a face covering. Of course I will continue to wear one (I actually find seeing others wearing them as uncomfortable as wearing one myself, but that’s a bipolar thing). But the advice on these things is incomplete and inconsistent.

The roof in our shopping centre must be a 100 feet high, at least four different sets of doors are open, thus providing ventilation, and dozens of shops are contained within it. And yet it is mandatory to wear a mask when walking around that (indoor) spacious environment (and not just in the shops within it), but it’s not mandatory when having your hair cut, your nails seen to, or when you’re getting a tattoo - places that are 100 times smaller.

If the public at large are going to take the rules seriously and abide by them, then they have to be consistent and simple:

Not one rule regarding masks for shops and shopping centres, but another rule for beauty salons and cinemas.

Not a rule like where you can’t get in a car with someone from another household, but you can get in a taxi.

Not a rule where you can share an office with six colleagues but you can’t have two of them around your house at the same time.

For the public to do as they’re told, things have to be cut and dried and make sense. That’s why the full lockdown worked - everyone knew what they could and could not do for those ten weeks (or however long it was). Then we got into the “go to work, but don’t go to work” waffle, and “make use of public transport, but try and use your car.” At that point, and the whole “stay alert” thing, half the population just threw their arms in the air and gave up.

I don’t believe for a minute that the govt is making decisions based on the science at this point, because there are far too many inconsistencies - they’re making decisions based on what makes/keep them popular, and keeping their fingers crossed that we don’t land up in a second shutdown for Christmas.

With regards to lip-reading etc, I’ve got a mask coming that has a clear panel for the mouth, as I know several lip-readers as well as people on the autism spectrum, who often struggle without the face to face contact. I’ll see what they’re like when they arrive!

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Perfect , also feel safest when in potentially iffy places like hospitals, say ,or general crowded indoor situations, if wear both surgical mask for mouth and plastic screen shield over the whole face, nose, eyes for added safety, Hope it is not only a psychological placebo attempt. The more the merrier in prevention, all the best

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In New York we are required to wear masks indoors and anywhere that you can’t socially distance. so if I’m taking a walk and there’s nobody around I don’t need to be wearing a mask but I do need to put it on if I pass by a group of people that I can’t stay six feet away from. New York has very straightforward guidelines oh, but the rest of the states it’s a bit of a shitshow in some places

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In Rome, in public places and companies, stores, we are expected to wear masks. Social distancing is required for both indoor and outdoor venues like restaurants and bars. Restaurant owners halve seating capability, and many restaurants, bars may not open up at all, as well as many hotels , since not many tourists are around and staff and general expenses may not be’ compensated. Concerts and football games are not allowed , although concerts may be elsewhere in the country. Some Italians are asking for the end of lockdown measures rather than the continuation of national current partial opening policies.

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