Mustaches May Increase Burn Risk With Home Oxygen Therapy
A recent case report from U.S. doctors has found a link between home oxygen therapy and facial hair in men, specifically on the upper lip. It is suggested that men who use oxygen therapy should consider being clean shaven to reduce their risk of serious facial burns.
Dr. Andrew Greenlund of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, had noticed that three of his patients, all whom have mustaches, experienced facial burns while using their home oxygen therapy and decided to investigate further. Upon his investigation, he identified nine patients in the Mayo Clinic who experienced home oxygen therapy-related burns and eight of those men had mustaches.
To test this theory, mannequins were set up, some with mustaches and some without, and outfitted them with the nasal tubing and exposed them to a spark. The tubing on the mannequins with mustaches ignited, while those without facial hair did not. This suggests that facial hair works as a form of ‘kindling’ for fires, which can be a dangerous combination when on human skin.
The best thing you can do if your tubing catches fire is to take it off quickly and extinguish the flame. If culture and religion allow, then shaving facial hair would be the number one preventive measure to take. If a man decides to keep his facial hair, then using water-based hair products and avoiding those that are alcohol- or oil-based could also help mitigate the risk.