cPAP silicone allergy

Posted by SanibelSandy @sanibelsandy, May 6, 2017

I apparently have developed an allergy to silicone, which creates problems with my cPAP mask since they all seem to be made of silicone. Anyone know of other options? Solutions? I do use a barrier (Silent Night, RemZZs) but at times they slip and I end up with skin break-down.

Liked by dysautonomia9

@forrest_gump

I definately am also allergic to the silicone cushion on the masks. My pulmonologist even said I was. The only thing that I found, besides the cloth liners, was a mask that has a memory foam type cushion that is in direct contact with my skin in Lieu of the silicone. I also have a very small face so finding a mask that is small enough and has a good seal is a challenge. The only drawback(s) are the cost and figuring out how to effectively clean it without compromising the foam cushion. Clorox or antibacterial wipes do not suffice. The caustic properties of them get into the foam pores which then comes in contact with my face. I’ve tried actually washing it with a solution of vinegar and water, then drying it with my hairdryer so it dries and doesn’t breed bacteria. It actually worked. Only down fall was also trying to use my hairdryer to speed up the drying process on my tubing…it eventually melted. I know there are mixed reviews about memory foam type masks, but it is the only type that has not resulted in eczema, red, irritated, dry, and burning skin around the mask seal. After switching, it took about 1-2 weeks for my symptoms from the silicone to fully resolve. Direct contact with a straight silicone mask, even if just for 1-2 hours, immediately recreates the same symptoms from the silicone.

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Hello @forrest_gump, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I tried the ResMed AirTouch F20 foam edge mask and did like it a little better than the silicone version. I used CPAP wipes daily on the mask and a SoClean 2 sanitizer daily and had good results. I have since switched back to the silicone version of the mask and use a cloth liner that I can wash and swap out.

@northerner has mentioned the Circadiance SleepWeaver full face mask which is all cloth. I have been thinking of switching and seeing if it works better than what I'm using.

https://circadiance.com/sleepweaver-anew/#mg

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After wearing my mask for years I developed an allergy to it. I ordered two clothe barriers and was disappointed because I could still feel my skin burning. Out of desperation I tried putting both covers on the mask at once and this did the trick.

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@ritalee

After wearing my mask for years I developed an allergy to it. I ordered two clothe barriers and was disappointed because I could still feel my skin burning. Out of desperation I tried putting both covers on the mask at once and this did the trick.

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Hi, @ritalee – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Thanks for the tip you shared about what helped with the mask allergy, using both cloth barriers at once.

Has your sleep doctor weighed in on why this may have done the trick?

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Hi there,

I too have developed blistering contact dermatitis from my cpap and I have been using ResMed products for 9 to 10 Years following OSA diagnosis. I have identified the contributing source from my SoClean device. As soon as I had stopped use, the dermatitis stopped reappearing. Has anyone had similar experiences?

Dr Y.

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@lyamamoto

Hi there,

I too have developed blistering contact dermatitis from my cpap and I have been using ResMed products for 9 to 10 Years following OSA diagnosis. I have identified the contributing source from my SoClean device. As soon as I had stopped use, the dermatitis stopped reappearing. Has anyone had similar experiences?

Dr Y.

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Hi @lyamamoto, welcome to Connect. I've used a SoClean 2 device since last July with no issues. I have a ResMed AirFit F20 mask with a cloth liner on the mask. Before using the liner I always used CPAP wipes to wipe the mask before putting it in the SoClean machine. Before using the cloth mask liner I would get the CPAP nose by the mask. Maybe others can share their experience.

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I have developed skin irritation redness itchy skin on nose and cheeks Are all cpap masks made with silicone? I also have been very sleepy lethargic today very unusual for me I have had similar skin reactions to fascial cosmetics I am concerned about this

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@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @sanibelsandy, and welcome to Connect. Thank you for starting a conversation about silicone allergy and a cPAP mask. I did some research of my own and it does appear there are some masks that are made from a different type of gel, but it would be best to consult with your physician about the alternative mask types in case that you have an allergy to the other mask types as well.

While I search for some other members who also have a silicone allergy, would you mind sharing a bit more about your situation? How long have you been using a cPAP before you developed your allergy? Has your physician diagnosed your allergy and talked about any other alternatives?

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I believe I may also have a silicone allergy. I recently underwent surgery to remove my silicone breast implants. I was having horrible BII symptoms. After surgery I had horrible reactions to my drains that were placed. I had weeping blisters where the drains layed on my body. I also reacted to the medical tape placed over my incisions. This rash was bright red raised and both were extremely uncomfortable and painful. I will be getting tested soon to confirm allergy.

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@lyndeeee

I believe I may also have a silicone allergy. I recently underwent surgery to remove my silicone breast implants. I was having horrible BII symptoms. After surgery I had horrible reactions to my drains that were placed. I had weeping blisters where the drains layed on my body. I also reacted to the medical tape placed over my incisions. This rash was bright red raised and both were extremely uncomfortable and painful. I will be getting tested soon to confirm allergy.

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Oh, you poor dear! @lyndeeee , you have experienced exactly what my daughter and I have experienced. Whether it is some chemical in the actual makeup of the tubes, band aids, masks, that are silicone based, we have a disastrous reaction to them.

So, to cut to the chase, in all my medical dealings, it is recorded loud and clear, that I am SEVERELY allergic to latex and silicone. Anything with rubber.

Weeping sores, poor healing, itching, draining, and even wheezing, are all symptoms that I choose to avoid if at all possible. I supply the first aid kit at church and we bought a bunch of vinyl gloves to keep handy. Just in case.

Take good care of you! Protect yourself. It's a rough road, but it's going to be ok.

Cyberhugs, love and light,
Mamacita Jane

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I have had my cpap machine for 7 years and the past 6 months, I'm suddenly having issues. Having skin irritation and bumps below my nostrils. I was using a nasal mask and then went to a nasal pillow thinking that would help. But it is doing the same thing. I know I do not want a full face mask. Had one in the very beginning and couldn't keep a seal. I have tried loosening my headgear but then cannot keep a seal, I clean the mask daily, and I have made sure I have nothing on my skin. I even tried using some material between my skin and mask but it wouldn't stay in place. Below nostrils is a tricky spot. Any suggestions or ideas would be much appreciated.

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Hello @lauramh, welcome to Connect. I've had my CPAP a little over a year and use a full face mask with a cloth cover made for the mask (CPAP Comfort Cover). I do feel a little air leak when the pressure gets close to the max but I don't really think leaks are as bad as you would think (IMHO non medical opinion). Do you have a local or close by medical store? I found the one where I purchased my CPAP to be a valuable resource when I was first having issues with finding a mask that works for me.

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@lauramh

I have had my cpap machine for 7 years and the past 6 months, I'm suddenly having issues. Having skin irritation and bumps below my nostrils. I was using a nasal mask and then went to a nasal pillow thinking that would help. But it is doing the same thing. I know I do not want a full face mask. Had one in the very beginning and couldn't keep a seal. I have tried loosening my headgear but then cannot keep a seal, I clean the mask daily, and I have made sure I have nothing on my skin. I even tried using some material between my skin and mask but it wouldn't stay in place. Below nostrils is a tricky spot. Any suggestions or ideas would be much appreciated.

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@lauramh– I had the same problem with a full face mask with leaks so I went to the nasal mask. Started with the F&P Zest for many years then just this last year went to a newer mask by them called Eson 2. I've found that when the cushion is new that for at least a week I get "2 happy green faces" on my Resmed machine, but soon after I start getting mask seal problems. I use their online site to view my progress and generally score on average a 85. I always have perfect scores for more than 7 hrs. and perfect 5's for the other 2, but my seal failure goes from 2 to 18. I had a 98 for about the 7th time the last time I changed the cushion.
In talking with my Respiratory Therapist, he thinks to not put so much weight on the mask seal number as long as my AHI is below 3 which it is often below 1. Hope this helps! Happy Zzzz's! Jim@thankful

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@sanibelsandy

I know there are some cloth masks available, which I have considered. But I don’t know if they have some type of coating that may be irritating also. My daughter has tried the cloth masks but said they are difficult to position and she went back to her (silicone) mask. I suppose they may be at least worth a try, but the reviews I have read on them aren’t really encouraging.

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Hi! After using a cpap silicone mask for 7 years I suddenly developed an allergy. Tried cloth covers, Remzss, prescription creams….nothing helped. I tried the Airtouch, which did work for me, but I can’t go for more than 1 week without REALLY CLEANING a mask or I get sick. Can’t put Airtouch in the SoClean, and it does NOT get clean by wiping with a baby wipe or cpap wipe. That foam is full of germs. Too expensive for me and my insurance coverage to buy them as often as I need them.
Then I tried CIRCADIENCE cloth mask! My miracle! Most people have trouble getting used to them as they seem to have leaks, initially. Stick with it, figure out how to adjust it….if it leaks by your eyes, pinch the fabric and roll it UP with your thumb. Sometimes I would actually fall asleep pinching the bridge of my nose a tiny bit. As you wear it, the air makes it balloon, sort of, and it fills the contours of your face. It sounds like a lot of trouble, but if you are truly allergic, as I am, keep trying. I think you will find relief. So simple to wash…I do it by hand … Hold it under running water ( do not put in germy sink). Rinse. Hang on my water bottle to dry 3-4 hrs. Can blast it with hair dryer if in a hurry. Good luck!

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@starfish

Hi! After using a cpap silicone mask for 7 years I suddenly developed an allergy. Tried cloth covers, Remzss, prescription creams….nothing helped. I tried the Airtouch, which did work for me, but I can’t go for more than 1 week without REALLY CLEANING a mask or I get sick. Can’t put Airtouch in the SoClean, and it does NOT get clean by wiping with a baby wipe or cpap wipe. That foam is full of germs. Too expensive for me and my insurance coverage to buy them as often as I need them.
Then I tried CIRCADIENCE cloth mask! My miracle! Most people have trouble getting used to them as they seem to have leaks, initially. Stick with it, figure out how to adjust it….if it leaks by your eyes, pinch the fabric and roll it UP with your thumb. Sometimes I would actually fall asleep pinching the bridge of my nose a tiny bit. As you wear it, the air makes it balloon, sort of, and it fills the contours of your face. It sounds like a lot of trouble, but if you are truly allergic, as I am, keep trying. I think you will find relief. So simple to wash…I do it by hand … Hold it under running water ( do not put in germy sink). Rinse. Hang on my water bottle to dry 3-4 hrs. Can blast it with hair dryer if in a hurry. Good luck!

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Hello @starfish, Welcome to Connect. Thank you for sharing your story on what has helped you. For those not familiar with the Sleepweaver masks made by Circadiance, here is the link to the styles – https://circadiance.com/sleepweaver/. I'm currently using a full face mask with a CPAP Comfort Cover cloth made for the mask. I was thinking that the Sleepweaver might be my next mask if I have any more trouble with my current AirFit F20.

Thanks again for sharing this great tip for those members that are allergic to silicone masks!

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My problem is with the head gear, not the mask. I think the head piece is what's making my scalp itchy as it occurs at night, right under the straps. Has anyone had that problem? I use the nose pillows and my nose (only) does get a little itchy.

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@nancyevn

My problem is with the head gear, not the mask. I think the head piece is what's making my scalp itchy as it occurs at night, right under the straps. Has anyone had that problem? I use the nose pillows and my nose (only) does get a little itchy.

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@nancyevn, I have the itching problem with the scalp once in awhile but not sure it's my headgear. They do make cloth straps that go around the headgear that may help but I'm not sure. You could also just try a piece of an old tshirt and put it under the headgear. I use a full face mask and it does seem kind of funny when my nose starts itching right after I put the mask on at night and I have to decide to remove and scratch or tough it out. Usually ends up remove the mask and scratch the itch ☺

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