Face marks from CPAP mask

by April
(Dallas, TX)

My doctor has ordered a detailed sleep study because he says a monitor I wore while sleeping indicated that I stopped breathing 15 times in an hour. Didn't say for how long each time. He also said I would have to get a CPAP machine.

Will the mask leave marks on my face in the morning? It sounds like a dumb question, but when my pillowcase leaves marks, I have a hard time hiding them before I have to go to the office each day.

If the mask does leaves marks, what can I do about it? I don't want to advertise to everyone at work that I have a CPAP machine.

I sleep best on my stomach or my side. Will that make a difference in the type of mask I need? Sleeping on my back makes my allergies worse, and leaves me with a migraine and sore back and shoulders. I have a Tempurpedic mattress so I know the back pain isn't from a worn out or cheap mattress.

I appreciate any info you can give me. I am new to all this and my doctor won't talk directly to me. I have to ask the receptionist my questions and wait for her to talk to him and call me back. Very frustrating, but sleep apnea is his specialty and he's on my insurance plan.


A CPAP mask can leave face marks in the morning if the straps are being too tight. This usually happens with beginners who are trying to fit the mask to avoid the air leaks.

However, it's important to adjust the straps only slightly, almost loose, because it allows the special mask sealing structures to remain inflated properly and to contour your face better.

Furthermore, a softly inflated seal structure can give you more comfort and less or no face marks.

You can learn more about how to fit a CPAP mask here.

The other thing you can do to prevent face marks from CPAP mask is to use mask liners specially designed for your type of mask. The extra density of the mask liner fabric is quite comfortable and will prevent the strap marks.

Here is an example of mask liners for CPAP full face masks.

You can use CPAP masks that are designed to use less pressure on your face, to prevent the strap marks. For example, check the ResMed Swift FX For Her to get an idea.

Regarding your preferred sleep position, it's a challenge to sleep on your stomach while using the CPAP mask. But there are different methods to help you sleep comfortably by using a CPAP pillow, or the falcon sleeping position.

For more information about these methods, please read the page about CPAP pillows here.

I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back.

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide

Comments for Face marks from CPAP mask

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Feb 02, 2015
Face marks
by: Anonymous

I have trouble with the cpap leaving a red mark on the upper side of my nose that lasts for hours. I've tried adjusting everything with no luck

Nov 27, 2015
Irritation on the upper nose from mask.
by: Anonymous

I use Johnson & Johnson Band-aid Sport Strip extra wide and cut the long tape down to just enough sickyness to stay stuck to my nose at night. It so helps from that raw feeling in the morning.

Mar 21, 2019
Mask Hurts My Nose
by: Mary

I have thin skin and a long nose. I found putting a strip of moleskin on my nose and using a mask liner (cotten) helps the redness. I have not found a solution for mask leaks. My pressure is high, 20, but events are low even with mask leakage.

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