September 24, 2023


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The history of Medical Masks

A history of medical masks | Wellcome Collection

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, masks have become mandatory; however, that does not mean you can not be fashionable when wearing your face mask. There are some of the best brands that provide beautiful face masks. Cremoly, specifically, offers a wide variety of face masks that is perfect for any outfit, no matter the occasion.

The origins of medical masks

Throughout history, masks have always been present. However,  many individuals used them for religious ceremonies, rituals, or theatrically. The first medical mask that made an appearance was the beak mask. Inside these beak-like masks were supposedly herbs and liquids to fight any disease. These doctors began wearing these masks when treating patients who had fallen ill from the bubonic plague. Since then, they have timelessly symbolized death. The 20th century saw face masks, mouth protection, and face veils introduced to medical practitioners. However, neither masks nor gloves were mandatory. The majority of physicians denounced them as they found them irritating. However, as time passed and the medical industry learned about germs and how harmful they can be, so did the acceptance of masks. 

The theatrical use 

Masks help protect oneself and create a dramatic effect, especially in the theater. The use of theatrical masks dates back to the ancient Greeks. The Japanese theaters used masks to portray comedy. The masks allowed the actors to play different characters and genders, express other emotions, and represent non-humans or demons. These masks that they wore held delicate details and precision, ensuring that even the farthest seat could still see the facial expression on the mask.  In addition, portraying the character of that mask correctly. The most notorious masks are the Comedy and Tradergy masks. These exaggerated masks display the drastic change of emotion from joy to sorrow. The extreme emotions that these masks portray often symbolize the feelings that one can go through when watching a theatrical performance. 

How masks have changed over time

During the 13th century, when the invention of the beak mask came about, it represented death and was somewhat demonic with the long beak and the black soleless eyes. When viewing illustrations of people wearing these beak-like masks, it carries darkness around it and therefore has remained a symbol for death and sinister intent to this day. However, due to the medical field having advanced, so have masks. They were re-invented not to carry an ominous feel about them. Instead, they were clean and straightforward. They often represented hope and peace. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, masks have now symbolized uncertainty.

How masks have become the new fashion accessory

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing a mask out in public has become mandatory. As a result, many individuals felt these masks were silencing them. However, many fashion companies saw this as an opportunity to help uplift and bring back hope into their communities. Therefore, face masks were re-invented once more. Unique, bright, colorful, weird, and beautiful face masks were now available to the public, allowing individuals to express their creativity and voice. In addition, many individuals now base their whole outfit on their mask, or it may even add that last bit of pizzazz that their outfit needs. 


Masks have played an intricate role in the history of the medical and theatrical world. While it is still an unknown time, you no longer have to feel silenced by your mask. You can now voice your opinion, express your creativity through your mask.