It seems face masks have quickly gone from a preventative measure to a fashion statement.

But doctors say you need to make sure the mask you're wearing does what it's supposed to do, prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For those of you who say "I social distance so this single layer mask will do the trick for me," according to the American Medical Association, under the right conditions COVID droplets can travel up to 27 feet.

With that in mind, doctors say one key feature of a good mask is layers.

"Here we are talking about preferentially three layers of cloth and that would include two layers of cotton that is 600 thread count," said Dr. Jeffrey Jahre with St. Luke's University Health Network.

Homemade masks are very popular and effective, like the ones that can be worn with a polypropylene filter or even some tissue paper in the pocket.

Doctors say fabric masks should be washed frequently. And surgeon's masks and paper masks from reputable manufacturers should only be worn a few times before tossing them. Never spray anything on them or expose them to heat.

While doctors do not recommend N95 masks for non medical personnel, the CDC is warning consumers who choose to purchase them to beware of fakes.

How do you spot a fake N95? Oftentimes, simply by the quality. Otherwise look for a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health markings and approval codes to be printed on the mask.

NIOSH masks will never have adornments like decorative fabric or sequins and will only have a headband. NIOSH masks are not rated for children.

For more information on spotting a fake you can visit the CDC website.

No matter what kind of mask you use, make sure you wear it properly.

"If it's not completely covering your nose and your mouth you see all the way down and then it's not doing anything with respect to control," said Terry Burger, Infection Control and Prevention Administrator for Lehigh Valley Health Network.

Doctors say the worst masks to wear are single layer bandanas and those with exhalation valves.

All masks should be combined with social distancing and plenty of hand washing.

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