How to Prevent Nose Sores from CPAP Masks

Written by
Jason Smith RPSGT
Published on
May 11, 2022 9:51:36 AM PDT May 11, 2022 9:51:36 AM PDTth, May 11, 2022 9:51:36 AM PDT

You need sleep - plenty of it, and good quality too. That’s where your CPAP machine comes in. It’s supposed to be your frontline strategy for sleep apnea treatment.

But what happens when your CPAP causes issues like nose sores? Nose sores might not seem like a problem, but if they make your CPAP mask uncomfortable you’re less likely to be compliant with your CPAP use.

And that poses serious risks to your health. Hypertension, diabetes, and stroke are only some of the risks associated with untreated sleep apnea.

Do you want a better quality of life? Then stay compliant with your CPAP and prevent nose sores. Here’s how to do it.

How CPAPs Cause Nose Sores

Nose sores in CPAP users are can be caused by four different issues: incorrect mask adjusting, having the wrong size mask, having an unclean mask, or having an old mask. It’s possible that more than one of these issues is causing problems, but fortunately, they can be fixed.

Incorrect Mask Adjustment

If you’re new to using a CPAP machine, you may be adjusting your mask wrong. It should feel snug, but not tight. Adjust your headgear until you have a comfortable fit, then turn your CPAP on and check for leaks.

If your mask is too tight, the tension can increase the amount of pressure on your face. If your mask’s straps are not tight enough, your mask may shift, causing friction against your skin.

If you’re still unsure how to properly fit your mask, talk to your health care provider and CPAP supplier.

Wrong Mask

It’s also possible you may have the wrong mask. Maybe you were mistakenly given the wrong size, or perhaps you bought a new brand that fits differently. The best CPAP mask isn’t useful if it doesn’t properly fit.

If you’re not sure what size mask you should be wearing, check out our CPAP mask sizing templates. These easy-to-use templates will help you determine what size mask or nasal pillow is right for you.

Dirty Mask

Many CPAP users don’t realize the importance of cleaning their machines and masks. You breathe into your CPAP all night, which means you are potentially expelling microbes into your mask, especially if you are sick or are recovering from an illness.

Plus, CPAP machines are often warm and humid. They can be the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

Try to take a few minutes to clean your CPAP daily. If you can’t commit to a daily schedule, aim for at least once a week.

When it comes to your mask clean it daily. Your mask can easily collect bacteria, oil, and skin cells.

Wash each part separately with mild soap and water, then rinse with cool water and allow it to air dry.

Worn CPAP Mask

Finally, it’s possible that it’s time for a mask replacement. Over time, your mask cushions can wear out, leading to the mask making contact with your skin.

Replacing these cushions can help. However, not all masks have replaceable cushions, so you may need to replace the entire mask.

Always Practice Good Mask Care

Taking care of your CPAP mask is good sleep apnea self-care. Without proper care of your mask, your apnea can’t be properly treated, putting you at risk for serious health conditions and a poor quality of life.

Luckily, we have many affordable cleaning products that make cleaning your CPAP mask easy. These products are gentle and safe.

When it's time for a mask replacement, check out our selection. Whether you use a nasal pillow, nasal mask, or full-face mask, we have many types of CPAP masks.