Can't keep mask in place / mask causes breakout

By idaho_dragonfly Latest Activity May 11, 2011 at 1:08 am Views 11,237 Replies 12 Likes 2


Hi everyone - I was diagnosed this past Feb. So far I've tried:
1) ResMed Swift LT for Her : nasal pillow
2) Fisher & Paykel Zest Nasal mask (standard)
3) Resmed Swift Fx ; nasal pillow
4) Fisher & Paykel Zest Nasal mask (gel) — I may have this wrong.

I have a hard time keeping my mask in place. My husband says I toss and turn a lot. The respiratory therapist tells me to put a pillow next to me so that I won't roll over. I've been unsuccessful trying to explain that I'm more active than that. I'm a side sleeper but am told I tend to flip to my stomach when I'm tossing and turning. I would think that this is when I'm dislodging the mask. It's VERY frustrating when your RT doesn't "get it."

Also, my skin tends to be oily. Even when I washed my face right before bedtime, I have broken out with both of the nasal masks. With the first nasal mask, I ended up with two deep, painful acne breakouts on either side of my nose. If I have a pimple, it usually involves one skin pore (I hope that makes sense). The mask is causing all of my pores within a 1/4" area to become infected, leaving the area noticeably inflamed.

With the 2nd nasal mask, which I'm currently trying out, I've learned about placing a thin piece of cotton material between the mask and my skin. With my nighttime movement, I knocked the mask out of place. The material shifted and now on one side of my face by my nose, I have a very inflamed, deep acne infection. It took over a month for my skin to clear up after the first nasal mask since the infection was quite deep. Now I'm in the same boat again. At least it's only on one side.

My husband fought with different masks for 3 years & finally was fitted for the oral appliance that moves his lower jaw forward. He claims he feels so much better now, even compared to when he has a good CPAP night. My sleep dr. has basically told my RT to keep trying different masks.

Has anyone has problems with keeping their mask in place? If you've conquered the migrating mask, how did you do it?

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Replies (12 replies)

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  • Damnifiknow
    Damnifiknow May 24, 2011 at 11:47 am   

    I have found a mask that is made out of cotton, and is very comfortable to wear. I did not purchase it, because I was told that you cant return it after you buy it. I tried it on in the store and it felt alot better than all of these plastic ones. If you would like I will find out the Information for you, and let you know.

  • Avera
    Avera May 24, 2011 at 11:31 am   

    OPPS! Forgot to add this…

    There is an ongoing *Discussion* right here on Sleep Connect all about people and their mask problems. I am going to provide you with the link and hope that you will add your comments there as well. You might find others that have had your same problem and some solutions they have listed.

    The title of the discussion is:

    *Can't Stand My Mask*

    The link:

  • Avera
    Avera May 24, 2011 at 11:30 am   

    There is a mask that MIGHT help. I am going to copy what the ad says about it:

    "The revolutionary SleepWeaverâ„¢ ADVANCE Cloth CPAP mask improves on the groundbreaking design of the original SleepWeaver while offering increased comfort, a better fit, noticeably smaller mask dimensions, and easier-to-use headgear.

    Constructed entirely of soft cloth the SleepWeaver ADVANCE is LATEX & SILICONE FREE so it's ideal for allergy sufferers! The SleepWeaver's cloth cushion won't get sticky like traditional nasal cushions. The breathable fabric inflates around your nose and pushes gently against the face to create a secure seal. A fine cloth inner lining — the Zzzephyr seal — improves fit and increases comfort.

    Unlike traditional nasal masks the SleepWeaver ADVANCE has no rigid frame or hard buckles so it's great for people who sleep in any position — side, back or stomach."

    Here is a link to the place to buy it. It is on sale right now for $99.00.

    ALSO…you might want to consider some mask liners. Here is a link to them in the product review section here on Sleep Connect. If you want some, you can buy them at the same place the mask is sold.

    Hope this helps…

  • mohusker
    mohusker May 17, 2011 at 9:29 am   

    I agree, the mask is out for us sleeper who are all over the place during the night. I have a moutpiece fitted by a dentist with a rod that is molded to the mouthpiece. Then the nasal pillows are attached to the mouthpiece with set screws. So all that is protruding from my face is the tube which is on a swivel at the attaching point. Really works well.

  • psalmist
    psalmist May 16, 2011 at 8:58 am   

    I use a device which fits in my mouth - it came like a football mouth guard and I heated it and fitted it to my teeth - it works wonderfully and since it has no straps it works well - I turn and toss too and it has allowed me to do that, but reminds me that some positions are impossible - once I started using it, I have slept better and longer and feel so much better.

  • idaho_dragonfly
    idaho_dragonfly May 16, 2011 at 10:28 pm   

    Hi pasalmist - I had purchased one of those, or something similar, from, but I didnt' get a good fit. It was similar (material and directions) to the mouth guard I already wear for bruxism. What did you try? Do you remember the brand name or where you bought it? Perhaps you've found something that's a better quality than what I tried. btw, my husband wears an 'oral appliance' after 3 years of battling the mask. He sleeps a lot better too. I have a follow up appointment in 2 weeks. I hope I can get the problem resolved then (if not before).

  • psalmist
    psalmist May 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm   

    I get it from my supplier but am in the middle of looking for new one of those - it just seems so expensive - It does work well though and I can't remember the brand - I don't have the box still, but if I get a new one soon, I can let you know.

  • Tracy
    Tracy May 13, 2011 at 9:39 am   

    Hi Idaho Dragonfly

    Mask fit and adjustment is so important. The link above will take you to an article I wrote and I hope you will find it helpful.

    I know the last thing you want to try is yet another mask - but - if you like nasal pillows you might want to try the new ResMed Swift FX - it is my new favorite and it differs from the LT for Her in that the headgear and side straps are not fabric. Its all smaller, easier to use, less on the face and the strap is more like a soft rubbery material… sorry, wish I could think of a better description :)

    I like less on my face which is why I am a nasal pillow girl. I never had problems with skin breakouts but I have suffered with the imbedded strap mark problems in the past. The FX mask, for some reason I have not figured out yet, can be worn much looser yet still provide a fantastic seal. So I am thinking it may provide less of a skin problem for you!

    Check it out at your local cpap supplier and see what you think about it!

    Best wishes to you!

  • idaho_dragonfly
    idaho_dragonfly May 16, 2011 at 10:16 pm   

    Thanks Tracy, but I've tried the ResMed Swift FX. I need to get a list of what I've tried so far, which has been nasal pillows and nasal masks. The main problem is getting the mask/pillows to stay put. I knock whatever I'm wearing loose during the night. Then the skin problem is the other issue, but I'm going to try Rooster 11's suggestion if I try another nasal mask.

  • Rooster11
    Rooster11 May 11, 2011 at 6:21 pm   

    Hi idaho_dragonfly,
    I use a full face mask, but have also had issues with keeping my mask from leaking. It never comes all the way off, but likes to leak around my eyes. As far as the acne goes, I have been using Clearasil face wipes to clean my face before I go to bed, and this has kept any skin issues at bay. I have pretty oily skin, and the clearasil seems to dry it out just right and keeps my pores open so that I don't get any pimples, etc. where the mask is. Plus, it helps me from getting them on my nose and cheeks as well. I am using the ones in the green container. They look like makeup removal pads, but work well for me. They're a bit wet for me, so I wring them out a bit before using them, but am always surprised how much dirt and oil there is on the pad at the end of the day when I took a shower that morning. I don't know if this will help you, but might be worth a shot.
    Have you considered a full face mask instead of the nasal pillow mask? Those are pretty hard to knock off. Mine has never come off (knock on wood). I use the resmed Quattro FX. It's very comfortable and works well. I tried a "hybrid" mask that covers my mouth and has the nasal pillows, but it aggravated my nose and did come loose easily.
    I know the process is frustrating, but eventually you will find the right combination that will work for you. Good Luck and keep us informed on how it's going or what has worked for you.

  • idaho_dragonfly
    idaho_dragonfly May 13, 2011 at 12:08 am   

    Thanks Rooster11. I'll be sure to pick up the Clearasil you mentioned. I'm willing to try anything that may help.

    I traded in the Respironics Comfort Gel nasal mask this morning for the Respironics Go Life nasal pillows. It's the men's model, but if it works, who cares? (I understand the women's model just came out.)

    I've also looked up the CPAP PRO "No Mask" Nasal Pillows, which looks to be a good choice. Unfortunately, it's not made by any of the suppliers my respiratory therapist uses, and I haven't been able to find a similar model that's carried by the 'approved' suppliers. I did get a list of the companies they use, and I've been checking to see what my options are.

    My husband had used the full face masks, so I'm somewhat familiar with them. The way I toss and turn at night, the less something sticks out from my face, the better. I'm not at the point where I want to try a full face mask, but I'm not ruling it out either.

    Thanks again for the suggestions.

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