• Tracy Southwick

Masks: Risks and Solutions

Updated: Mar 29

Even with mandates being eased in Texas and other states, many people are still opting to wear masks and many businesses are still requiring patrons to wear masks, which is every bit a business or individual’s right to choose with regards to private property and the health of their own bodies. I am very grateful to live in a state where we can currently make this choice.


For this article, please know that I am in no way trying to sway your opinion on masks, we all have our own reasons for the choices we make, but I genuinely want to help people be aware of, and reduce, any negative effects from wearing masks.



In that vein, I would like to begin by sharing some anecdotes related to my experience with masks and the health issues that have arisen in my clients as direct results of wearing masks. Of course, I understand that many will be required to, or choose to, mask going forward, so I will follow this with my suggestions for healthier mask-donning techniques. Please note that this list does not include the psychological ramifications I have seen, especially with children, from being required to wear a mask.


Here are some of the issues I have seen with my clients:

  • Maskne” – acne or rashes around the mouth and nose. This is often painful and severe, to the point of extreme infection with cysts surrounding the mouth and radiating to the cheeks.

  • Bacterial pneumonia – An ER doctor told my client who had just been diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia that it was rising worldwide directly due to mask usage. (Many people are not aware of the importance of sanitizing cloth masks after each wearing so moist bacteria living in and on the masks is deposited directly into the lungs with each and every breath.)

  • Dental issues – The increase in temperature in the mouth can alter the pH of the saliva leading to decay.

  • Students consistently scoring poorly at the end of long test-taking sessions when wearing a mask versus not wearing one.

  • Kids feeling dizzy and faint while exercising with masks.

  • Chronic cough while wearing a mask.


My suggestions for healthier masking:

  1. Avoid masks made with synthetic materials. Disposable masks and most inserts release toxic gasses as you breathe warm, humid air into them. The toxins can affect the skin on your face and your mouth and are breathed into your lungs.

  2. Opt for an organic cotton or linen mask. I found many options on Etsy (and you support small businesses there!).

  3. Wash your cloth mask daily in hot water with a non-toxic cleaner. We love Branch Basics™ natural cleaners. You can add some vinegar to kill pathogens, or just boil the mask in water for at least 3 minutes. Be careful of color-bleed, though.

  4. Spray your clean mask with probiotics to help improve health and keep any bad germs at bay. We love P2 Probiotic Power before each use and after an hour or two of usage. P2 Probiotic Power’s ‘Breathe’ formula is perfect for spraying on your mask. We also carry their formula for healthy skin which can be used along with masks to help your skin better cope with the complications of wearing masks. The mouthwash formula provides probiotics for your mouth to help ensure the environment in your mouth is healthier for mask use.

  5. Do not use the mask any longer than you absolutely need to. When you are alone - in your car or walking down an empty street or in your home - wearing a mask isn’t doing you any good. The mask is only increasing the temperature and pH of your mouth (which can lead to tooth decay), as well as creating a situation where you are re-inhaling any viruses and bacteria that may be in your system and, of course, always making it harder for you to breathe.

We have missed seeing your smiles at Heights of Health! We respect everyone’s choice to mask and your practitioner will wear a mask during your appointment if you would like, but no one is required to mask at our clinic. We will continue to use all of the health protocols in our offices that we have already been using such as air purifiers and safe and effective cleaning procedures with P2 Probiotic Power probiotics and non-toxic solutions. Lastly, as you know, the most important protection from any disease is your own strong immune system. We love helping our clients work to achieve this goal.



More resources on masks and chemicals:

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210 E. 4th St, Houston, TX 77007, USA

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