Tips to help you stay cool while wearing a face covering during the summer heat

Health News

(ABC NEWS) – As temperatures begin to climb and states continue to lift more restrictions, the big question is how to stay safe while enjoying some summer fun?

There are some hot weather tips to help you stay cool behind a face covering.

With summer heat starting to arrive, wearing a mask is more than just an inconvenience, it can feel downright miserable.

On a 78° day at ABC News’ Becky Worley’s house in northern California, she uses a remote thermometer to gauge the temperature of the mask that she’s wearing.

“The heat will definitely make it more difficult for people to be outside with masks on, but it is not impossible and it is in fact very important,” said Dr. Anne Rimoin, an epidemiology professor at UCLA.

Dr. Rimoin is an infectious disease professor at UCLA and worked extensively studying Ebola in Africa.

She said while wearing a mask in the heat is hard, there are some ways to make it more comfortable.

“You want to wear a mask that is light in color because dark colors will draw, will get hotter, faster, draw the sun to you,” said Dr. Rimoin.

Sure enough, Worley’s remote thermometer shows it going up to 105 degrees for a black mask but with a lighter paper surgical mask, it’s a little cooler, only getting up to 94 degrees.

Dr. Rimoin also said to make sure your mask isn’t too tight. There should be a tight seal around the edge of the mask, but there should be room between your mouth and the mask to allow air-flow.

Experts said cotton masks are best because they absorb sweat, but they recommend taking extras with you so you can swap them out to avoid skin irritation.

If you’re worried about wearing a mask in the heat, she said to limit the time you’ll need to be outside wearing one.

“Making sure that you have something that is comfortable to you will make a very big difference,” said Dr. Rimoin.

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