A surgical face mask is a disposable device that acts as a barrier between the wearer’s mouth and nose. As the name implies, a surgical face mask is used more often by surgeons to prevent any contact with flash fluids. However, surgical masks have various types, and they became popular in 2020. 

At the peak of the pandemic, people were advised to wear surgical masks because they provided more protection against infectious diseases. To learn more about a surgical face mask, read this piece. 

Types Of Surgical Face Masks

The surgical face mask has various types, but their features are almost similar. Medical face mask is in two categories: surgical face masks and respirators. Check out some of the masks:

  • Type I Face Mask
  • Type I R Face Mask
  • Type II Face Mask
  • Type II R Face Mask
  • FFP2 Face Mask
  • FFP3 Face Mask
  • N95 Face Mask

The various mask outlined above are used in the healthcare sector to protect the wearer again infections

The Type I and Type II Masks

Aside from their differences, the Type I and Type II masks have several things in common. For instance, both masks have a BFE (bacterial filtration efficiency) of more than 94%. Furthermore, the Type II and Type II R masks are the best to wear. 

In addition, their breathing resistance is exactly the same. Furthermore, the Type 1, 1 R, II, and Type II R face masks have been medically tested and are safe to wear both inside and outside. Also, these masks are helpful in terms of ensuring that the wearer doesn’t have an airborne disease like COVID.

Type II Face Mask

The Type II face mask is designed with 3 ply protective layers. This design makes sure that large particles don’t get on the patients or your working surface. The features of the Type II Face Mask are:

  • They have a protective three-layer construction
  • Have various colors
  • Pleat style with ear loops

The Type IIR Face Mask

The Type IIR face mask is entirely different from the Type II face mask. Although both masks may have some similarities, they are not the same. The Type IIR has 4 play construction that protects the wearer against large particles from any contact. The Type IIR mask is tested to ensure good exhalation. Also, the efficiency of bacterial filtration is tested. Check out the features of the Type IIR face masks:

  • It has 4 layers of protection
  • Available in various colors
  • It offers splash resistance

Homemade Mask vs. Surgical Face Mask

The pandemic raised awareness of the importance of wearing masks. Aside from that, more homemade mask were produced in 2020 than at any other time in the world. However, the argument by healthcare experts is that homemade masks do not offer the same level of protection as surgical face masks and respirators. 

Furthermore, health organizations like the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDPC) have argued that they may not offer the same level of protection as a surgical face mask. Nevertheless, the ECDPC conclusion on the matter is that with social distancing and washing of hands, the homemade mask could also offer some limit on the level of transmission of diseases. The shortage of surgical face masks prompted people to make homemade masks.

How To Identify A Fake Surgical Mask

Unfortunately, very few people know how to identify a fake surgical mask. Surprisingly, the fake mask has similar features like the original ones. You need an eagle’s eye to discover that the mask is fake. To discover a face mask, do the following:

  • There is no mark at all on the filtering facepiece respirator
  • You will not find an approval number on the filtering facepiece 
  • NIOSH markings are not available
  • Encryption that the mask is approved for children (NIOSH doesn’t approve masks for children)

It is safer to use a homemade mask than to buy a counterfeit mask. Some of the counterfeit masks are even rewashed and repackaged by fraudsters. Therefore, if you can’t find an original surgical face mask, then opt for the homemade ones manufactured with cotton.

Other Personal Preventive Equipment (PPE)

Aside from the surgical mask, there are other PPEs that healthcare workers also need. The surgical face mask became the most sought-after because of COVID. Some of the PPEs a medical practitioner needs are:

  • Goggles/face shield
  • Gown
  • Hand gloves

These PPEs are as important as the surgical mask. In some cases, healthcare workers are required to wear all at a time. Furthermore, during the early stages of COVID, the majority of health workers were outfitted with all of these PPE. The aim is to offer the wearer maximum protection against any infection. For instance, the goggle protects the wearer against splashes that can cause infection.

Is A Surgical Face Mask Disposable ? 

Yes, all surgical face masks are considered disposable. Surgical face masks are referred to as disposable because you can discard them after use. It is recommended that a surgical face mask should be disposed of after 5 hours. However, others may argue that the surgical face mask can be disposed of after 24 hours. But the general rule to determine when to dispose of a face mask is whether it is soiled or not. 

But it is always advised to dispose of a surgical face mask after carrying out the medical assignment for which you wore it. For instance, if the surgical face mask was worn to conduct surgery, then you should remove it after the procedure is completed. You can wear another face mask for another medical activity. There is a high risk that the surgical mask used to conduct the surgery could be contaminated. 


The surgical face mask and other PPEs are recommended to be worn in environments where there is a high chance of the wearer contracting an infection. The surgical face mask played a huge role in stopping the spread of COVID. Finally, surgical face masks are still worn in areas where the atmosphere is polluted with carbon emissions or dust. You can bristol mask a try.