In the middle of an outbreak or an illness, wearing a mask is extremely beneficial in preventing infection. There are so many types of medical masks in Singapore, each with its own advantages. From regular surgical masks to the N95 with strong filtering power, find out which masks in Singapore suit your needs below.

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A Guide to Buying and Wearing Surgical Masks Singapore Online

Medical masks, or also known as surgical masks, call for a need whenever one catches an illness or needs to protect themselves during an influenza outbreak. Some may not be aware of the types of masks that are most suitable for filtering out germs and bacteria. Here we identify the differences between surgical masks and N95 respirators as well as their primary function respectively.

Surgical Mask

Doctors and medical staff are usually seen wearing this type of mask in the operating room, hence the name surgical mask. Standard surgical masks come in three layers - two outer layers and a middle layer that acts as a filter.

The outer, coloured layer that’s facing outwards is waterproof, hence can prevent any liquid, large particle droplet or fluid from entering the mask; the middle layer can help to filter out about 95% of pathogens (not completely); while the white layer is highly absorbent of saliva and water vapour from our respiratory process. Wearing a surgical mask can prevent the spread of respiratory viruses from our saliva.

N95 Respirator

The tight-fitting N95 respirators are used to guard against air pollution or haze. These “masks” have at least 95% of filtration efficiency that blocks out airborne particles of 0.3 microns in size.

Due to its thick material, it can be uncomfortable for the wearers who put N95 on for a long period of time. These masks may make breathing difficult, especially for wearers with chronic respiratory or cardiac conditions. In addition, these respirators are not resistant to fluids. Therefore, some health experts do not recommend N95 masks to the general public for protection against viruses.

A general reminder for using these masks is to dispose of them in a waste bin every few hours as they can be contaminated by airborne germs and bacteria during use.

How to wear a surgical mask?

Wearing a surgical mask correctly is very crucial. The method of wearing one determines the spread of viruses and the effectiveness of protecting you from infection. Here’s a quick guide on how to put on a surgical mask the right way:

  1. Before putting on a surgical mask, wash your hands with soap and water.
  2. When putting on the mask, the coloured layer should be facing outwards. This side of the mask is water-repellent, while the filter in the second layer can block germs from entering the mask
  3. Make sure the mask covers your nose, mouth, and chin while hooking both elastic earloops on your ears
  4. Bent the metallic strip on the upper edge of the mask gently, press it against your nose bridge
  5. When disposing of the mask, unhook the straps and avoid touching the surface of the surgical mask, or your hands will be exposed to germs on the coloured layer of the mask
  6. After disposal, perform hand hygiene properly with antibacterial soap.

Where to buy masks in Singapore?

You can head to the nearest pharmacy for surgical masks, such as Guardian and Watsons. If it occurs that those physical stores have run out of stock, online orders of surgical masks are always possible. On iPrice Singapore, you can find surgical masks sold by different e-commerce merchants, including Shopee, Qoo10, and Lazada, while comparing their prices at the same time.

A useful tip when purchasing medical masks online is to read the product description and seller’s review. Keep in mind that the masks should come in 3 layers and serve the function of preventing the entry of pathogens.