Headgear Irritation

By Ckay - 5546 Latest Activity December 30, 2009 at 8:00 pm Views 11,582 Replies 10

Ckay - 5546

I was diagnosed with sleep Apnea Dec 2008. In the last two months I've noticed that the headgear irritates my scalp, resulting in uncontrollable itching and breaking out. The medical supply person from my insurance company has sent me different headgear, but it is not working. Any suggestions? I can't do without my CPAP - I get awful headaches without it. HELP!

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Replies (10 replies)

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  • nitengale2
    nitengale2 January 13, 2010 at 8:49 am   

    I get breakouts of scaly, itchy patches where the straps rest. I have found that using T-Sal shampoo by Neutrogena clears it up for me. I alternate it with my normal shampoo. As long as I use it once a week I stay itch free!

  • TheDreamer
    TheDreamer January 10, 2010 at 10:33 pm   

    I actually have been having headgear irritating my scalp problem…has resulted in a weird sore on the back of my head. Can't tell what it is, because I can't see it.

    It did finally get bad enough that I switched to a different mask and different headgear to let things heal. I wonder if I have a sensitivity to neoprene or whatever the material is of the ComfortLiteII mask. Not sure if the sore healing because I switched to a nasal mask and the resmed headgear…or its just that the headgear contacts different areas around my head.

    Others have suggested is because now that I'm on CPAP, I'm not moving around as much in my sleep and its some kind of contact sore…since its also where my head is in contact with the pillow. Not sure why the problem seemed to develop now rather than when I first started using the ComfortLite…though I did also change pillows. From a synthetic bead filled pilow to a buckwheat pillow…

    And, I usually change more than one thing at a time…so its hard to pin down. Though I kept the new pillow and have gone back to using the ComfortLite II…guess we'll see if the sore comes back…

    But, ya…I was also DX'd in Dec 2008…and its only been the last few months that I've been having problems on the back of my head…the sore was worse where the headgear contacted the back of my head, but the itching was more spread over the back of my head.

    The Dreamer.

  • Tracy
    Tracy December 31, 2009 at 12:15 pm   

    Ckay -
    Are you normally skin sensitive? What has changed in the last 2 months since this irritation started? Do you have a new brand mask or new kind headgear that is different that what you WERE using successfully?

    Golly, just thinking about your dilemma has me sitting here itching my scalp at the thought of it! My heart goes out to you!

    Since this just started, I am also wondering why and what's changed!
    Tell me more and then let me try to help!


  • Ckay - 5546
    Ckay - 5546 December 31, 2009 at 6:24 pm   

    Nothing has changed, except I've developed an allergy to it. It is a family trait - even with some medications. They work fine, and suddenly, out of no where, I break out in rashes and have to discontinue meds - that's why I don't order from mail order pharmacies.

    I've gone to nomask.com and seen the "mask" promoted there and want to know if anyone has had success with it other than the ones on their website claiming it is the "wonder mask".

    Latex allergies are very prevalent in my family. The medical equipment person I use said there is no latex in the headgear, but I don't know for sure. Just need a different approach to finding the right headgear.

  • Tracy
    Tracy January 1, 2010 at 1:37 pm   

    Ckay - I tried the no mask several years ago and did not like having to wear it in the mouth. 20% of the population drools and if you are one of these people, this will promote drooling. Also, I did not like the feeling of having to bite - it made me feel like I had to bite down to keep it in place and it caused me to have jaw pain and I started to grind my teeth - it just did not work for me.

    I do have another suggestion - have you tried the Puritan Bennett Breeze nasal pillow system? NOTHING touches you face. The plastic headgear rests at the base of your head and floats up over the head and simply provides a plenham which holds the soft nasal pillows in place. It's the mask I have used the most over my 20 years! I wear a stretchy headband around my forehead to help keep it stable as I toss and turn a lot during sleep onset as I also have Restless Legs Syndrome!


  • Ckay - 5546
    Ckay - 5546 January 1, 2010 at 7:19 pm   

    I searched and found the prototype. I've tried the one that came with my CPAP that looks very similar to this one. The nasal pillows are more claustrophobic to me. The band that holds it to the head is what is irritating me, even through my hair.

  • Tracy
    Tracy January 2, 2010 at 9:31 am   

    If you already have the Breeze - the black straps that come with it are optional and can be removed. I don't know why they are called "optional" because you MUST have something to hold it on the head! Here is my suggestion: Try the Breeze again, but remove the black straps that came with the system and replace them with a sweatband of your choice. You can buy an inexpensive stretchy something ( I get mine at target for about a buck) and position it around your head. that way YOU can be in control of the fabric used and hopefully it will not cause any skin or scalp irritation. There will be nothing else that touches the face at all. The other thing I like about this mask is that the nasal pillows are separate and we often have different size nares ( nostril openings) and so for example, you might wear a small in left nostril and medium in the right.

    Puritan Bennett by the way,released the first nasal pillows back in the early 90's calling it the Adams Circuit and then added the Breeze System a few years later. There is nothing else on the market that resembles this concept.

    Here's a picture: http://www.puritanbennett.com/prod/Product.as...

    I'll keep my thinking cap on for you!


  • Ckay - 5546
    Ckay - 5546 January 3, 2010 at 4:53 pm   

    Thank you for your ideas - which has sparked an idea for me. I have several masks that I can't wear, but I can take the parts and use the headband ideas and make my own straps, using the clasps/fasteners on the headband. This way I won't be destroying the current mask, but hopefully making a new one that may work for me. I will keep you advised.

  • Emeraldsecrets
    Emeraldsecrets January 13, 2010 at 4:26 pm   

    I have had COPD since 2003, and the best mask I have found with very few straps is: The ResMed Swift II. I found the mask on a website when I was surfing (I don't know anything about the company, but you can see a picutre) http://www.cpapsupplyusa.com and the number for the mask is: SKU 60512. My son uses the same mask, and has found he likes it much better than other mask he has tried. Good Luck.

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