cpap strap leaves painful sores and welts, please advise
By May 25, 2012 at 9:12 am 12,757 13 1
Hi, my name is Rick. I am living with severe sleep apnea. I use a full face mask, but I have to keep it so tight to prevent leaks the straps leave deep cuts and welts in the back of my neck. The pain is like a 2nd degree kitchen burn. Sometimes they scab over. I also have Sjogren's Syndrome, which possibly makes my skin easier to break?
Every AM I wake up in pain, whimpering as I pull off mask, touch the purple welts on neck, take pain relievers, put antibiotic ointment on the cuts & raised welts and an ice pack to numb it. I have a pain relief rx for an unrelated long-term injury, so after I take that the pain is more tolerable all day.
I have tried many masks and am on a pressure of 17, which I still cant sleep on my back & breathe, but only my side, which means to avoid pillow causing leak, strap must be very tight. When I see Dr. I have to tell him I need even higher pressure, which means a tighter strap!
I could deal with pain if it wasn't constant. But it never gets to heal. It feels like a 2nd degree burn I get to rip open afresh every night! I am now putting strap over a line of crusted scabs & purple welts and it bites deep into my skin again. I don't even care about the marks it leaves on my face. I just can't bear the pain of having to strap it over the welts & scabs from this morning and it leaks until I pull it as tight as it will go. I am a regular visit to cpap clinic at the sleep center at UPenn, which is one of the best on east coast, so I assume they aren't just terrible at masking me, I have tried on at least 10 masks and pretended to sleep in office. Will my neck eventually just callus and be ok like when you buy new boots? Has this happened to anyone else? Does anyone have suggestions about how to treat these wounds in AM and prepare them for further abuse in evening? Is there something I should I put under the strap besides a bandage?
Sorry this is really long! I am just so desperate! Thank you for any response!