CPAP masks and pressure ulcers, pressure ulcers from CPAP masks, CPAP mask blotchy skin, and CPAP mask marks

CPAP masks and pressure ulcers, pressure ulcers from CPAP masks, CPAP mask blotchy skin, and CPAP mask marks - all these are the unpleasant side effects of using CPAP and BIPAP. What you see below is what happens to many (not all) people who continue to use a CPAP Mask that bruises the nose.

If you continue to use the CPAP Mask after having significant bruising ...... for many people a blister will develop.

Now the picture below is what happened to one of our patients. He continued to use the offending CPAP Mask even after a blister took place. Now this is a wound that is incredibly painful. (He had given us written permission to take this picture and use it).

Bruising from using your Cpap Mask generally happens because :

a) The CPAP mask cushion you have is just to rough for your skin. Some people have sensitive skin and are proned to bruising. There are a number of masks that has a history of bruising a lot of people.

b) An allergic reaction to the materials found in the cpap mask, the majority of cpap mask in the market today is made from silicone or a gel material. An allergic reaction to silicone is not common. However from time to time we do come across someone who does demonstrate an allergic response to the silicone or the gel. A lot of the older cpap masks in the market use to have some latex in the materials and people would react to that. So it does depend on the type of mask and your skins sensitivity.

c) Over tightening of the mask. Now the only reason to over tighten the cpap mask is because:

1. Leaks due to an over size cpap mask. The mask is too big for you. So you keep tightening and tightening the head gear in hoping to seal off the air leak.

2. The cushions on the current cpap mask you are using are worn out. It has lost its structural integrity. When that happens, you will experience leaks you normally would not. Once again you tighten the head gear.

d) The cpap mask might be too big for you in the first place. So what happens is the mask moves up and down the bridge of the nose and scrapes the delicate skin of the bridge. Now you have a bruise. Over time a blister can easily develop from it. Then a wound to a scar.

e) You are not washing your face before you use the cpap mask. All of us have facial oils and dirt build up by the end of the day. If you do not wash your face, the mask tends to slide on your face and causing the mask to rub that area of the nose. In addition you now have a cpap mask that leaks also. So what most of us do then is tighten the headgear even more.

f) A dirty mask. Many people do not wash their cpap mask at all. Please wash your mask per manufacturer’s guidelines. You can get a skin infection from the bacteria that harbors on the mask if you do not do so.

g) The headgear is just too small and tight. However the mask size is correct. This causes the mask to pinch against the nose and bruise it. All you need here is a slightly bigger headgear as the solution.

h) You just happen to have sensitive skin in that particular area of your face. Some cpap masks are predisposed to bruising people. They may be good functioning masks but if you have sensitive(thin) skin, you do not want to use those masks. Example, Respironics Comfort Full2 Full Face Mask.





You can also get a certain type of bruising in your eye or in that area. If you have persistent air leaks that blow into your eye, that area just gets super irritated. The leaks must be stopped. Do not just try to live with it. If you have bruising in the eye please have your doctor look at it.

“Toughen Up”. Sometimes it is just a matter of getting used to using a cpap mask. You might need some time to let your face acclimatize to using a cpap mask.

At any rate, consult your physician if you have a bruise or a doubt.

• There is a one extremely valuable tip we have learned from long time cpap users. “Give your face a break” Many successful long term cpap users have different types of masks and switch in the use of them. Example, a cpap nasal pillows user will use a cpap nasal mask for a few days just so his or her nostrils can get a break and recuperate.

To help heal use any ointment your doctor recommends. Just do not use the ointment at night if the mask you are using that night is touching that area of the face where you applied that ointment. For one thing, the mask will slip and slide thus cause air leakage. The other reason is many manufacturers state; creams touching the mask can break down the cpap mask quicker. Thus you void the warranty on the mask.


Cpap Nasal Pillows

Bruising for cpap nasal pillows tends to :

a) The outer nostrils. Most likely the pillows are too big and it is bruising you. Try a smaller size. Especially with nasal pillows you should get all the 3 or 4 size pillows (extra small, small, medium and large) with your initial nasal pillows set up. All the 3 or 4 size pillows come in the packaging. See our review. Only some brands of cpap nasal pillows come in extra small or petite size.

b) You have put the cpap nasal pillows upside down. Very common mistake we see especially after the person has taken the pillows apart for cleaning and then reassembled it wrongly.

c) Over tightening of the headgear.

d) Bruising on the tip of the nose. The materials the pillows are made of are rough. Or perhaps that area of the nose is sensitive uniquely to you.

e) If bruising is taking place inside the lining of your nostrils – you might have shoved the pillows to deep inside your nostrils. This has now scraped the delicate inner lining of your nostril.

f) Bruising on your cheeks – use specialized padding. Nasal Pillows made by Resmed - Swift FX . They come with wrap around covers. Otherwise you get padding from "Pad A Cheek"

Cpap Nasal Mask

• Common areas of bruising are the bridge of the nose or just under the nose.

• If you like your current mask and you realize it is on the harder side – clean it more. Soak it longer. Even Respironics advices this on some of it's masks.

Use a softer mask. Some masks are unbelievably soft.

Cpap Full Face Mask

• Common areas of bruising are the bridge of the nose or just under the nose.

• If you like your current mask and you realize it is on the harder side – Soak it in hot soapy water.

• Use a softer mask.

• Use the Hybrid Cpap Mask or Oral Cpap Mask. Good alternative.

Try using a cpap liner or some type of cushion. The goal is to have a layer that separates your skin from the mask.



a) Remzzzs

b) Quietus Liners

c) Gecko Nasal Pads ( formerly known as Select Comfort Care Pad)



d) Duoderm

e) Pad –A-Cheek

f) Mole Skin


To return from CPAP Masks and Pressure Ulcers CPAP Mask Uncomfortable page back to the Home Page - Click Here

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave a comment that is useful for other visitors in the box below. Leave a Tip, Advice or just share what has worked for you. This way others can also benefit from your experience. We have many visitors from all corners of the world that uses a CPAP or a BiPAP and are struggling. Your advice no matter how small can make a positive difference.