July 23 2020
How to tell the different sides of a surgical mask

Figuring out the right side of a surgical mask can be challenging when all sides look similar. A surgical mask has a total of 4 sides, the front, back, top and bottom. Wearing a surgical mask incorrectly could impose a higher risk than not wearing one. So how then do we differentiate each side of a surgical mask?

First of all, let’s understand the function of the front side and the backside of the mask. The front side of the surgical mask repels fluids and helps reduce the chance of viruses attaching to the mask from a cough or sneeze. The backside captures and absorbs moistures thus preventing any viruses from leaving the mask. If you examine a surgical mask closely, you will notice that the front side is usually coloured and has a rough surface while the backside is uncoloured and soft to the touch.

Another way to identify the front and backside is looking at the direction of the folds on the mask. The front side will have the fold downwards so fluids can fall off quickly while the fold on the backside is upwards to capture moisture. You can also look at how the elastic loops are attached to the mask. Normally, the loop is attached to the backside of the mask.

The top and bottom of the mask is easily differentiated by the metal wire. You would have noticed that there is a mental wire on one side of the mask. That is the top as you would need to pinch it so that it moulds to the shape of your nose. As such, the bottom side of the mask is the side without the wire.

For a simple way to tell the different side of a surgical mask, check out our video below.

Always, remember that wearing a surgical mask alone cannot protect you from the virus and must be combined with safe distancing measures and proper hand hygiene. So, avoid being in a crowded place and frequently wash your hands before touching your face.  

Stay safe everyone.

Disclaimer: The content and information in this article is the opinion of the author and property of LinC Aesthetic Clinic Pte Ltd. It is for educational purposes and not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Kindly contact your medical doctor with questions you may have regarding your medical condition. Relying on information provided by this content is done at your own risk. Should you suspect that you are a carrier of COVID-19, see a doctor immediately.

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