Pillow TalkⓇ - Questions and Answers About Sleep

Questions and Answers About Sleep

I recently got a CPAP machine, and I am using the ResMed Swift LT for Her mask. I am getting a rash on my face, blotchy, extremely dry skin, in certain places where the mask materials touch my face. The problem is not due to air flow - I use the humidifier, and no excess air blows on the rash locations. I believe it is due to the mask materials of construction. I am allergic to latex and have very sensitive skin, prone to skin allergies and rashes. Has anyone else experienced a rash from the mask? What did you learn about the cause(s) and solution(s)?

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I also have been using a ResMed Swift mask for about 2 months. A week ago, I went to bed and awoke with a very painful forehead. I had oozing sores that were burning like a chemical burn on my forehead. Today it is hard crusty and feels like plastic. My cheeks had been looking like I was getting Rosacea but I thought it was from where they sanded my face for the sleep study. I'm a little worried about the material used in the mask. I've heard of a nasty infection from flip-flops imported from China.
I contacted the manufacturer of the Swift LT for Her, ResMed, from a phone number that I found on their website, and asked for information on the materials of construction. The following is what I received from them:


Silicone Elastomer

Cushion (Pillows)
Silicone Elastomer

Headgear Assembly
Headgear Straps: Foam Layer: Open cell Polyurethane Fabric: Nylon/Spandex

Buckles: Thermoplastic Polyester Elastomer (TPE)

Yokes: Nylon


Inlet Tube
Thermoplastic Polyester Elastomer (TPE)

Swivel Assembly
Polycarbonate/ Polypropylene

Plastic Tube Retainer
Thermoplastic Polyester Elastomer (TPE)

Soft Wraps

I received this information from Susie Justice, Clinical Support Specialist, SusieJ@resmed.com. I recommend that you take it to your dermatologist to find out what is going on. That is also what I plan to do because I have a spot on my lip that is like a dry spot, where the thing that the pillows connects to touches my lips. I don't know what that part is called.

I would like to hear from other people about these parts and allergies, still. I wonder if there is a pattern here.
I am trying to use a CPap pillow mask. with heated humidifier.
After 2 weeks. nasal passages very dry, burning, I am violently sneezing and have watery eyes. not relieved by repeated doses of clear benydryl. Called service rep and no return phone call.
Think I am reacting to the mask.. very chemically sensitive. Thoughts. response..
Bonnie - it sounds as though your humidifier (heater) is not working properly and the air is not properly filtered by the water. On my machine, it was several weeks before I understood the very tiny switch that turns the heater on, and how to tell it was working properly. Due to the tiny size of the switch and the need to position the water tank and the electronics part of the machine just do to turn the switch on, I still miss doing it correctly some nights, and problems in the morning similar to yours are what alert MD to the cause each time.

Good luck with resolving that!
took a night off and have bad chest cough and beginning of bronchitis. Will look for the switch.
there is no switch on my model.
still having issues not using machine.
sinus, post nasal drip and cough. bronchitis, pneumonia, severe chills.
The saga goes on. I have had sinusities, bronchial pneumonia, cysts on eyelids
and now menieres or labryinthitis since trying mask.
New eye glasses with silicone nasal pads and all the coatings possible are adding to issues.
Very chemically sensitive. Hyper reacting to everything .. in environment now. traveling and hidden pesticides in motel rooms. did 2 weeks of antibiotics. solved pneumonia.
now dealing with anemia.
Have you tried turning up the heat setting on your humidifier so that you are breathing in more moisture? It sounds like you are having a bit of an allergic rhinitis reaction that may be caused by breathing in large volumes of air that could use more moisture. Are you using a significant amount of water in your humidifier each night? Or, is the chamber still relatively full in the morning? Are you getting a lot of condensation in the mask or tube?
Dory - please ask your doctor for a prescription for a fungal cream. Some people develop a fungus - my daughter did and we tried every mask, every cream (some of them made it worse)_ and finally found that it is a fungus. Her nose became bulbous and very painful - now, no problem. Good luck.
Hi, I am writing from Australia. I came across your post when I was researching allergic reactions to CPAP masks as I too have been having problems and though I may not be able to help you directly, I thought it was worth sharing what allergy problems I have been having and not only that, there may be others out there who also have been having similar problems and perhaps we can all help each other in some way.

My story: I have been using ResMed S8 Series 11 CPAP Machine + ResMed HumidAire 3i with the ResMed Mirage Quattro Full Face Mask for just over a year now. Two weeks prior to Christmas just gone (2008) I noticed small red blotchy spots appearing on either side of my chin just below my mouth. I had also recently noticed each morning when I took off my mask I had an accumulation of saliva left in the mask, so when I noticed the rash appearing I immediately put it down to excess saliva leaking out and being trapped between the mask seal and my skin.

I contacted my CPAP clinic and they suggested that my Humidifier was set too low, on account of the extremely hot weather we had been having here and as it was not on a high enough setting my body was producing additional amounts of saliva because I was becoming dehydrated over night. I was also advised to drink more water before going to sleep however for me that was not an option due to a incontinence problem I have as a result of lower back surgery. So my only option was increase the setting which is what I did the following night. My Humidifier setting had been on 3, so the first night I turned it up to 5 however that produced too much moisture, so the following night I tried the 4th setting which seemed to be the better setting of the two. I continued on this setting for a couple of weeks and the amount of saliva I was producing did infact decrease however it did not make any difference to the rash on my skin, infact the more I used the mask the worse my skin became and the larger the rash became.........it spread across my whole chin.

At this point I contacted my actual Sleep Disorder Specialist and he advised me to have a two week break from the Full Face Mask and to try using the Nasal Mask instead, however as I have other medical conditions, I am unable to tolerate the Nasal Mask for any longer than an hour without removing it during the night. So my only option was to have a complete break from the CPAP.

As the rash had become quite inflamed at this stage and the fact that lots of small blister like lumps had started to appear I also sort treatment from my local General Practitioner (GP). She advised me that she had other patients who also had allergies on account of the CPAP mask and it had been difficult to treat. She went onto advise me that my rash had now developed into Dermatitis and that I would require a cortisone steroid such as "Elocon Ointment" to help treat the problem.

In January this year I started using the Elocon Ointment and immediately noticed significant improvement and after a week you could no longer feel any of the blisters and the redness had almost completely disappeared. However no sooner did I stop the Elocon and go back onto the CPAP machine with the Full Face Mask did the now Dermatitis appear back with full vigour. I was back to square one, so I went off the mask again and went back to using the Elocon ointment and again the rash cleared again but no sooner did I stop the ointment the Dermatitis was back worse than ever and this time I had not even been back on the CPAP.

Last week I returned to my GP and she took me off the Elocon ointment and put me on a three week course of antibiotics called "Doxycycline" and for the first few days they did seem to help, however over the last couple of days I have noticed that the redness and the small blisters have started to reappear. I am not sure if these tablets are working but it has only just been over a week and I still have another two weeks of treatment, so it may take the full course for them to work, so I haven't given up yet. I would also definitely recommend atleast trying the Elocon Ointment or something similar to help with rash you are experiencing as it does work while you are using it and it may provide you some relief in the interim.

As what to do about the allergy with material on the CPAP Mask I am not sure.................my thoughts are that if the rash was an allergy to the materials used on the mask I personally would have the Dermatitis rash on the parts of my face where the mask touches my skin but that is not the case, the rash is only on the lower part of my chin.................which brings me back to my original thought that it has to do with excess saliva leaking from the mask and being trapped between the mask and the skin overnight and the skin is continually kept damp and thats why the skin is being aggravated................the only thing I can think of is that maybe something needs to be put inside the mask to soak up the excessive moisture/saliva and then some sort of absorbent dry protective barrier needs to be put between the mask and the skin, this will then allow the skin to remain continually dry and avoid any further aggravation.......................Whether something like this could be done and would work, I am not sure however I think it would be worth looking into and maybe someone else out there has some ideas how this could be achieved and could perhaps post some suggestions. I would be also interested to hear if yourself or anyone else out there has been experiencing excess saliva/moisture as well.

I have also uploaded a photo of my skin as an example of the Dermatitis Rash I now have and have done this also to see if either yourself or anyone else finds their rash similar to mine and perhaps if they do, they could also post a photo to see if we are all experiencing the same thing.

I apologise for the length of my post but again thought if I could tell you what's happened to me, it maybe similar to yourself or someone else out there and some how we can find some definitive help for us all.
Hi. Thank you for your reply. Your rash looks very severe. Mine is only a spot on my lip, so I am fortunate. At any rate, there must be something in these mask materials that is not good for our skin.

Please ask your doctor for a prescription to treat fungus. My daughter had the same problem and after a few days using the fungal cream her rash and sores went away. she now only has to use the cream when the rash begins to reappear.


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