Can the elastic of surgical face masks stimulate ear protrusion in children? - GreenMedInfo Summary
Can the Elastic of Surgical Face Masks Stimulate Ear Protrusion in Children?
Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2020 Jun 18. Epub 2020 Jun 18. PMID: 32556449
In this period of the Covid-19 pandemic, a protective mask has become a common object of use to contain virus transmission. The imminent need for masks has led many governments to produce them, including surgical masks with elastic loops or masks with side cuts at the ears. Among those on the market, surgical masks with elastic loops are the ones most chosen by parents for their children. These elastics cause constant compression on the skin and, consequently, on the cartilage of the auricle, leading to erythematous and painful lesions of the retroauricular skin when the masks are used for many hours a day. Pre-adolescent children have undeveloped auricular cartilage with less resistance to deformation; prolonged pressure from the elastic loops of the mask at the hollow or, even worse, at the anthelix level can influence the correct growth and angulation of the outer ear. In fact, unlike when using conservative methods for the treatment of protruding ears, this prolonged pressure can increase the cephaloauricular angle of the outer auricle. It is important for the authorities supplying the masks to be aware of this potential risk and for alternative solutions to be found while maintaining the possibility of legitimate prevention of the potential spread of the virus.Level of Evidence V This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these evidence-based medicine ratings, please refer to the table of contents or the online instructions to authors www.springer.com/00266.