Strap marks on my face

I’ve been using CPAP for about 6 weeks, and have been sleeping better, but still having some issues. These include bloating, weight gain, waking to adjust nasal pillows, and ghastly strap marks from the chin strap I have to wear.
I’m dealing with everything except the weight gain, which is weird, and the strap marks, which can last until the afternoon. I’ve tried face massage, cold washcloth, super rich cream…these reduce it a bit but they are still very obvious. I know this sounds like a minor issue, but I really hate looking like a marionette! Anybody have anything that works for this? Also, is weight gain a thing with CPAP?


I wake up with strap marks on my face as well. They usually don’t last all day. I think maybe your straps are too tight. If you can get by with them a little looser, that might work. I have also seen people use those round cosmetic sponges and tuck them under the strap where it is rubbing or leaving marks. They are about 1-1/2 to 2 inches in diameter and less than 1/4" thick…like a powder puff but made from soft sponge-like material. You can find them in the cosmetic section of the health and beauty isle ( I saw them at Walmart )

I have been using CPAP for over 20 years and also work in a sleep lab. Usually, strap marks are a sign of the mask not fitting properly or wearing too tight. The newer masks usually have an inner cushion that fills with air to help seal. Try loosening the straps with the air on and then tighten only tight enough to get a seal. If you can’t, talk to your Home care company to try a different mask. Weight gain is not usually associated with CPAP use.

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I have not experienced weight gain or bloating from my bipap machine, but the waking and adjustments are symptomatic of cpap and bipap use. I too have strap marks but it is usually from adjusting the mask too tightly. If you can’t get a decent fit from your current mask without the strapmarks, go to your supplier and get a new mask. My plan allows for a different mask fitting every 3 months, and you can try as many masks as you want until you find one that works for you.

Thank you! I’ll try that.

These marks are from the chin strap I have to use; I use a nasal pillow, not a mask.

If you use a chin strap to avoid mouth breathing and venting you might like to try a product called sleepQ+ from Australia. Order on Great testimonials from CPAP users, works with full, nasal and pillow masks.

Thank you. I’ll look into it.

The strap marks kind of depend on who you talk to. The doc told me that “that is just part of CPAP”, but I don’t think it has to be. To ME, if I am getting strap marks, the mask is too tight. I discovered after almost 10 weeks on CPAP that my mask was the wrong size. I literally got bruises one night because I had to tighten it so much just to stop the face farting. Now, my mask was fit by the sleep clinic, and when I tried to talk to the doc about it seeming like the wrong size, her answer was that if the 'sleep clinic fitted it, it has to be right." So I splurged and spent the $30 something for a new one in a smaller size, and it fits perfectly. Try a different sized mask. The one you have may be too big, and you will never be able to get it tight enough without hurting yourself and making your self miserable.

As for the weight gain, I have had the same issue. I was losing a pound every week or two before CPAP and have put on a pound A WEEK ever since. It is finally stopping, so maybe there is hope it will reverse itself. Some folks will tell you that you always lose weight with CPAP but it is not always true. I found several medical websites that corroborated my findings that it DOES cause weigh gain. Very frustrating!

Best luck getting at least the mask straight

Interesting - Thanks - My hubby is trying to start CPAP and the piece on his chin is bothering him. I am going to try the cloth pieces to see if they help. I will also get some of these…

I think you have swelling. This is indicated by the strap marks from the chin strap on your face, which do not pass for a long time and weight gain. Try to drink more water. Yes, it sounds weird. But if you drink about 2 liters of water a day, the swelling will be less

Not sure about it. I actually LOST weight when I started CPAP therapy, so I never thought of that. I don’t see it as a listed side effect, HOWEVER I DO see it as a side effect fo lipitor even though my now former primary care physician insists it isn’t but I digress…

On the strap mark thing. I always wake up with strap marks in the morning. Within 30 minutes of waking up they are gone. Do yours persist? Are you getting some sort of swelling?