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DIY idea to stop itching and rash back of head?
#1
I've tried many remedies for the back-of-head itching caused by the mask strap. First the cleaning etc looking to get rid of possible contaminants. Then I tried putting a sterile gauze pad between the strap and my head for about a month; no luck. Tried a clean cotton terrycloth wash rag folded over several times (very thick) for about a month but also no luck. Also special shampoos etc. A little bit of tee tree oil rubbed on the scalp can reduce itching, but I'd rather solve this problem at the root.

My latest idea is to replace the back section of the mask with something that is the shape of heavy twine or small diameter cords. This would minimize contact with the scalp, possibly getting rid of the itching and rash. I'm pretty good at DIY, but in this case uncertain about best materials. And also wondering if some other mad scientist has gone down this road??
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#2
Mad scientist here, but I have not been down that road. Nor do I want to, sorry. I could come up with a far out answer but that is not what you are looking for.

How large is the rash ? could you try another strap that would not touch the rash?

Has the doctor seen it ? It would make me want to camp out in the doc's office

May you get an answer soon, please post as you can.

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#3
I'd see a doctor and ask for a referral to a skin specialist. At first I thought you might be allergic to the strap material, but with all you put between it and your scalp, I am wondering if the rash is co-incidental and not related.
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#4
Hi, okieman. You're the second person to post here recently who was getting a rash with the Wisp headgear.

I don't know if that's a coincidence. I used that mask for a few months earlier this year. I didn't have any problems with it, but the headgear is pretty large and touches the back of the head in lots of spots.

You could try replacing the back of the headgear, but you might run into problems with getting the correct tension on the nasal cushion.

When I switched away from the Wisp, I went to the AirFit P10 nasal pillows. Their headgear (very minimal) is made of neoprene, a different material than the Wisp headgear, plus the straps are really small. I think they would touch your head in a different place than the Wisp does.

Have you had this problem with other CPAP mask headgear? It seems that finding a headgear that doesn't touch the current rash may be necessary before the rash will heal.
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#5
(07-10-2016, 06:19 PM)okieman Wrote: I've tried many remedies for the back-of-head itching caused by the mask strap. First the cleaning etc looking to get rid of possible contaminants. Then I tried putting a sterile gauze pad between the strap and my head for about a month; no luck. Tried a clean cotton terrycloth wash rag folded over several times (very thick) for about a month but also no luck. Also special shampoos etc. A little bit of tee tree oil rubbed on the scalp can reduce itching, but I'd rather solve this problem at the root.

My latest idea is to replace the back section of the mask with something that is the shape of heavy twine or small diameter cords. This would minimize contact with the scalp, possibly getting rid of the itching and rash. I'm pretty good at DIY, but in this case uncertain about best materials. And also wondering if some other mad scientist has gone down this road??

A persistent rash in the back of the head in the strap area could be contact dermatitis, but it could also be psoriasis which is not uncommon as one might think. Your best shot is to seek a professional evaluation from a dermatologist.

What I use is Grandads Pine Tar Soap -- smells a little like a pine campfire -- which is a natural disinfectant and controls the flaking and itching.

BTW (Solve the problem at the root = 2/3rds of a PUN = PU) LOL

Best of luck.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
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#6
(07-10-2016, 06:19 PM)okieman Wrote: My latest idea is to replace the back section of the mask with something that is the shape of heavy twine or small diameter cords. This would minimize contact with the scalp...

You still need the same tension as in the straps. When you minimize contact area, for a given force, you increase pressure. Better to spread out the contact area.

And this is likely some type of contact dermatitis -- possibly folliculitis. I'd treat it with a triple topical antibiotic like Neosporin.
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#7
wisp comes with (or used to) a silicone headgear OR a material headgear. Which one is it that you have?
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#8
Actually, on the Wisp it's the front frame that gives you a choice of silicone or fabric-covered silicone. The back headgear comes in two sizes, regular and large. I think the break point is around hat size 7-1/2 or 7-3/4, I don't remember exactly. The material around the back is slightly stretchy.
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#9
I have the silicone front piece with "slightly stretchy" section around the back of my head. I agree with the comment about dermatitis. The medications that work for me are 1) an anti-itch solution of hydrocortisone in a water/alcohol base, and 2) tee tree oil that eases much of the itching and also helps the skin irritation to heal. Neither one of these creates a greasy patch in my hair, which is why I have not used the other product suggested.
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