As we brace for the spread of the coronavirus (we really hope not), the demand for surgical masks is at an all-time high.
According to this report
, face masks are reportedly so in demand, Johor retailers managed to sell out their stock within hours.
But do you know the correct way to wear one?
It turns out that we might have been wearing it wrong this whole time.
Coloured side out
A columnist for Medical Mythbusters Malaysia
, an NGO that works to counter myths and inaccurate facts on medical matters, revealed that the correct way to wear a surgical mask is by wearing the coloured side facing out.
Bel Nawhen told The Star Online
that several messages are circulating on social media regarding the correct way to wear a surgical mask: coloured side facing out if you’re sick, and the white side facing out if you want to “stop the germs from getting in”.
This, according to Nawhen, is totally inaccurate.
According to Nawhen, the outer layer is a fluid-repelling layer, while the inner one absorbs moisture from the air we breathe out.
There's a middle layer that filters bacteria, she revealed.
So, what's the function of the coloured layer, you ask?
According to Nawhen, its main function is to prevent germs from sticking to it. If you wear it the other way round, the moisture from the air will stick onto it, thus making it easier for germs to stay there.
“When you breathe in, the germs will transfer from the outside later and straight into your lungs, ” she wrote in a Facebook post.
Surgical masks are usually worn by healthcare professionals to prevent infections transmitted by respiratory droplets.
If you did not know the correct way to wear a surgical mask, well, now you know lah