Custom Burn Face Masks Casting and Fabrication
Start to Finish
- Burn face masks can be compressive fabric or hard plastic. Your doctor determines what is the best type of mask for you. The plastic used by Scheck & Siress has a layer of silicone against the skin for comfort.
- The entire casting process takes approximately 15 minutes.
- A hand cast is taken for hard masks. In our experience, and after speaking with experts in the burn field, we have found that scanning for masks is not accurate enough to capture the small intricacies of scarring and facial features.
- Two orthotists work together to cast the face. The process is painless.
- Adults and adolescents remain awake during the process. Children may be under anesthesia if recommended by their doctor.
- Appointment 1: Cast/mold of the face is taken.
- Appointment 2: Initial fitting of the mask is done. Mask is taken home and wear schedule begins.
- Appointment 3: Follow-up for adjustments to the mask.
- Appointment 4, 5, etc.: Continued follow-ups with orthotist for adjustments to ensure mask is applying the correct compression.
The Casting Process
Preparation of the face:
- Patient lays down on their back with their head flat on the bed
- A drape sheet is placed over the body to protect clothing
- Vaseline is applied over the entire surface of the face to ensure easy removal of the mold
Application of Silicone
- Cotton is placed around the face to hold silicone on the face while it sets
- Silicone gel is applied to the face by one orthotist
- A second orthotist ensures the silicone gel is covering the entire face and does not impinge on the eyes, nose or mouth
- Once the silicone application has begun, the patient remains with eyes and mouth closed and limits movement of the face until the mask is removed
- Once applied, the silicone gel takes approximately 5 minutes to completely set into a firm gel
Application of Plaster
- When the silicone gel is set, plaster strips are wet with water and applied over the gel
- The plaster ensures the silicone gel holds the custom shape of your face while being removed, transported, and throughout the fabrication process of the mask
Removal of the Cast
- After the plaster hardens, the facemask is gently removed from the patient’s face
- The appointment is now complete. The patient returns home and the mold is taken by the orthotists for fabrication of the mask
Modification of the Mold
- The cast of the face is used to make a plaster mold of the patient’s face
- This exact replica/mold of the face is smoothed and modified
Fabrication of the Plastic Mask
- The plastic is heated in an oven and draped over the mold under vacuum to create the mask
- The mask is trimmed and cleaned, ready for the fitting appointment
Fitting of the Mask
- The fitting appointment takes place at the orthotist’s office so adjustments can be made
- The eyes, nose, and mouth are trimmed, and straps are applied
- At the end of the fitting, we will discuss how to put the mask on, wear schedule, cleaning, follow up appointments, and answer any questions patient may have