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Publication numberUS20100319126 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/818,944
Publication dateDec 23, 2010
Filing dateJun 18, 2010
Priority dateJun 18, 2009
Publication number12818944, 818944, US 2010/0319126 A1, US 2010/319126 A1, US 20100319126 A1, US 20100319126A1, US 2010319126 A1, US 2010319126A1, US-A1-20100319126, US-A1-2010319126, US2010/0319126A1, US2010/319126A1, US20100319126 A1, US20100319126A1, US2010319126 A1, US2010319126A1
InventorsSharon Craib
Original AssigneeCoversmatter, Llc (An Indiana Limited Liability Company)
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Devices and methods for skin protection and recovery
US 20100319126 A1
Abstract
Devices and methods for managing the contaminants to which an individual's face is exposed when sleeping or resting on a pillow and/or pillowcase. The device may comprise a disposable pillow cover configured to receive a pillow and/or pillowcase therein such that an individual need not rest his or her head directly against the pillow or pillowcase. This may be beneficial to travelers, persons suffering from skin disorders or patients who are recovering from medical or cosmetic dermatologic procedures and thus have compromised skin. At least one embodiment of the methods disclosed herein comprises the steps of providing a disposable pillow cover, wrapping at least a substantial portion of a pillow and/or pillowcase within the disposable pillow cover to provide a barrier between the individual's skin and the pillow and/or pillowcase, and using the disposable pillow cover to prevent contaminants from coming into contact with the individual's skin.
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Claims(20)
1. A disposable pillow cover for managing a surface to be applied to a mammalian face, the disposable pillow cover comprising a medical-grade fabric configured to envelope at least a substantial portion of a pillow and form a barrier against contaminants present in or on the underlying pillow.
2. The disposable pillow cover of claim 1, further comprising a first end having a coupling component affixed thereto and a second end, the coupling component adapted to securely couple with the medical-grade fabric of the disposable pillow cover.
3. The disposable pillow cover of claim 1, wherein the disposable pillow cover comprises an open end having at least one flap extending therefrom, a closed end, and an interior area extending between the open end and the closed end and configured to receive at least a substantial portion of a pillow therein.
4. The disposable pillow cover of claim 3, further comprising a coupling component coupled with at least one of the at least one flaps of the open end and configured to couple with the medical-grade fabric of the disposable pillow cover.
5. The disposable pillow cover of claim 4, wherein the coupling component comprises a strip of adhesive capable of adhering to the medical-grade fabric of the disposable pillow cover.
6. The disposable pillow cover of claim 1, wherein the medical-grade fabric is sterile.
7. The disposable pillow cover of claim 1, wherein the medical-grade fabric is a nonwoven fabric comprising one or more ultrasonic or heat-bonded seams.
8. The disposable pillow cover of claim 1, wherein the medical-grade fabric comprises a perforated portion that is adapted to tear upon application of a force thereto.
9. The disposable pillow cover of claim 4, wherein the coupling component is further configured to decouple with the medical-grade fabric of the disposable pillow cover upon application of a force thereto.
10. The disposable pillow cover of claim 1, wherein the disposable pillow cover is configured to envelope at least a substantial portion of a pillow bearing a pillowcase.
11. A method for managing the amount of contaminants to which a mammalian face is exposed during rest, the method comprising the steps of:
providing a disposable pillow cover for managing a surface to be applied to a mammalian face, the disposable pillow cover comprising a medical-grade fabric configured to envelope at least a substantial portion of a pillow and configured to form a barrier against contaminants present in or on the underlying pillow; and
wrapping at least a substantial portion of a pillow with the disposable pillow cover to prevent any contaminants on the pillow from interacting with the face.
12. The method of claim 11, further comprising the step of using the disposable pillow cover to prevent any contaminants on the pillow from interacting with the face.
13. The method of claim 12, further comprising the step of removing the disposable pillow cover from the pillow and disposing of the same.
14. The method of claim 11, wherein the pillow is further enveloped within a pillowcase and the step of wrapping at least a substantial portion of a pillow with the disposable pillow cover to prevent any contaminants on the pillow from interacting with the face further comprises the step of wrapping at least a substantial portion of the pillow and pillowcase with the disposable pillow cover to prevent any contaminants on the pillow or pillowcase from interacting with the face.
15. The method of claim 12, wherein the step of removing the disposable pillow cover from the pillow and disposing of the same further comprises tearing the disposable pillow cover.
16. The method of claim 12, wherein the step of removing the disposable pillow cover from the pillow and disposing of the same further comprises sliding the pillow out of the disposable pillow cover.
17. The method of claim 11:
wherein the medical-grade fabric comprises a first end, a second end and an interior area extending therebetween, the interior area configured to receive at least a substantial portion of the pillow therein and the second end further comprising at least one flap having a coupling component coupled therewith; and
further comprising the step of securing the coupling component of the at least one flap of the disposable pillow cover with the medical-grade fabric to facilitate retention of at least a substantial portion of the pillow within the interior area of the disposable pillow cover.
18. The method of claim 11, wherein the medical-grade fabric comprises a first end having a coupling component attached thereto and a second end, and further comprising the step of securing the coupling component of the first end with the medical-grade fabric to facilitate retention of at least a substantial portion of the pillow within the disposable pillow cover.
19. A kit for managing the post-operative recovery of mammalian facial skin comprising one or more disposable pillow covers comprising a medical-grade fabric configured to envelope at least a substantial portion of a pillow and configured to form a barrier against contaminants present in or on the underlying pillow.
20. The kit of claim 19, wherein the medical-grade fabric of the one or more disposable pillow covers comprises a nonwoven fabric.
Description
    PRIORITY
  • [0001]
    This United States patent application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/218,327, filed Jun. 18, 2009, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety into this disclosure.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    Medical and cosmetic dermatological procedures are becoming increasingly common-place in today's society. These therapies typically treat the epidermis and/or dermis layer(s) of the skin through light therapies and/or abrasive or chemical exfoliation. The results of most such procedures are that the top layers of skin are either removed entirely to uncover the underlying healthy skin or, in more intensive procedures, the targeted skin tissue is ablated and/or damaged to biologically alter the targeted area through a wound-healing type response that is initiated by the remaining, healthy tissue. Examples of procedures that can leave the skin compromised include, without limitation, cosmetic surgeries, laser therapy, eye surgeries, and medically-approved spa treatments using light and topicals for treatment. As previously indicated, all of these procedures could expose the underlying layers of the skin to some extent, therefore leaving it more vulnerable to contact dermatitis and infection during the healing process.
  • [0003]
    One common type of dermatological procedure is a chemical peel. Chemical peels, also known as chemexfoliation, derma-peeling or chemical resurfacing, are a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin through the application of a chemical solution, which causes the top layers of the epidermis to blister and eventually peel off. Accordingly, this procedure produces controlled injury to the skin thereby promoting the growth of new, regenerated skin with an improved appearance.
  • [0004]
    Many different chemicals may be used depending on the desired result; indeed, different chemical solutions produce different degrees of injury to the skin. Superficial peels (e.g., glycolic acid) produce very superficial injury confined to the epidermis; however, deeper peels (e.g., phenol peels) produce injury within the dermis layer and, unsurprisingly, require extended recovery periods where wound care must be employed. Medium-depth and deep peeling may result in swelling, as well as the presence of water blisters that may break, crust, turn brown and peel off over a period of seven (7) to fourteen (14) days. Due to the initial damage caused to the skin by this procedure, regardless of the strength of the peel applied, proper care of the skin after the peel is critical to promote healing and prevent infection.
  • [0005]
    Light—or laser—therapies are another common type of dermatological procedure that result, at least initially, in damaged skin that is painful and susceptible to infection. A wide variety of light therapies have been developed over the last few decades to ultimately improve the aesthetic appearance of the treated dermis and epidermis by denaturing and/or damaging layers of the same. Laser skin resurfacing is one example of such a procedure that concentrates optical wavelengths on a targeted area of interest in order to ablate the epidermis and upper papillary dermis in a precise and accurate fashion. During some laser therapy treatments, up to forty percent (40%) of the skin's outer layer can be ablated, thus leaving the skin exposed and compromised. Additionally, some acne treatments use light therapy along with topicals to exfoliate the skin sloughing off the top layers and creating a need for extra care during the healing process.
  • [0006]
    Following ablative laser therapy, reepithelialization typically results in swelling, redness, erythema, exudation and sloughing of the treated area. Further, resultant crusting may predispose the wound to secondary infection. As may be expected, meticulous postoperative wound care is essential and is often deemed, by industry thought leaders and researchers, to be just as important as the operative technique in achieving optimal results. Because of this, patients are commonly forewarned to eliminate contactants that may come in contact with their compromised skin. For example, patients are often instructed not to allow their recently compromised skin to come into contact with fabrics that have been treated with detergent or fabric softeners in order to reduce the risk of contact dermatitis developing.
  • [0007]
    If postoperative wound care is not sufficiently addressed, in addition to other possible complications, contact dermatitis is likely to develop. Allergic and irritant contact dermatitis occurs commonly in newly resurfaced skin, and is thought to relate, at least in part, to the increased density of Langerhans cells present in areas of compromised epidermis. Accordingly, any contactants that come into contact with the compromised skin—the most common of which are the perfumes or dyes found in fabric softener dryer sheets or detergents—can trigger a reaction in the disrupted epidermis. In fact, the medical indications for preventing contact dermatitis include: 1) washing new clothing and bed linens several times before use in order to rid the fabric of the formaldehyde thereon, which results from the dyes and chemicals used in finishing most fabrics, and 2) avoiding polyester blends and cottons that are labeled “permanent press” and “wrinkle-resistant.” Furthermore, while patients may believe using organic cotton sheets and bedding will alleviate the risk of developing contact dermatitis or other contactant-related ailments and provide a superior surface for their skin to rest upon and heal, the term “organic cotton” refers only to how the cotton plant itself is grown, not to what additives are used in connection with the manufacture of the fabric. Despite the “organic cotton” label, organic cotton sheets and linens may still be have contactants thereon such as chemical finishes and dyes.
  • [0008]
    In total, the post-operative damage to the outer layers of the skin could take up to two (2) weeks to heal following a laser therapy, with a range from one (1) to four (4) weeks depending on the treatment performed and the depth of skin removed. Occlusive dressings are at times applied for two (2) to three (3) days postoperatively; however, because occlusion could increase the risk of bacterial or fungal colonization and infection, open wound care techniques are typically preferred. Open wound care techniques allow for the ongoing surveillance of the resurfaced skin, as well as minimize the feeling of claustrophobia by the patient. Theoretically, such open wound regimens seem less likely to foster infection as there is no dressing under which bacteria may be trapped; however, this may not always be the case depending on the quality of the surfaces on which such a patient may rest his or her head/face during the lengthy recovery process.
  • [0009]
    With all of the aforementioned therapies, postoperative care is critical to achieving the desired result and preventing infection. While, in the United States, there are strict guidelines and rules to which surgery centers and medically-approved spas must adhere when performing the procedures, upon exiting the clinic, a postoperative patient is largely left to their own devices with respect to the quality of postoperative care that is taken with respect to their skin.
  • [0010]
    It will be appreciated that having a clean and sanitary surface upon which to rest one's head/face is not only important to those individuals who have recently undergone a dermatologic medical or cosmetic procedure, but ideal for all individuals. For example, and without limitation, individuals suffering from a compromised immune system due to a dermal or epidermal treatment in the facial region require the cleanest environment possible and would also benefit from having a sanitary surface upon which to rest their head. Furthermore, resting on a contaminated pillowcase or pillow can likely increase the severity of acne, contact dermatitis or any number of other skin conditions. Additionally, it is also critical to the promotion of health and wellness to incorporate higher sanitary standards for resting during travel. Accordingly, a need exists for a device and method for providing an efficient and easy-to-use sanitary surface on which such individuals may rest their heads/faces, be it during recovery from a dermatologic medical or cosmetic procedure, in order to reduce irritation to a chronic skin condition or simply to increase the quality of their restfulness.
  • DESCRIPTION OF FIGURES
  • [0011]
    FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of at least one embodiment of a disposable pillow cover.
  • [0012]
    FIG. 2A shows a front view of at least one embodiment of a disposable pillow cover.
  • [0013]
    FIG. 2B shows a side view of the disposable pillow cover of FIG. 2A.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 2C shows a photograph of at least one embodiment of the disposable pillow cover applied over a pillow and pillowcase.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 2D shows a photograph of the end of a pillow and pillowcase with the disposable pillow cover of FIG. 2C applied thereto.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 3A shows a perspective view of at least one embodiment of the disposable pillow cover of FIG. 1.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 3B shows a front view of the disposable pillow cover of FIG. 2A.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 4 shows a flow chart of the various steps of at least one method for managing post-operative recovery of a face.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0019]
    Disposable pillow covers and methods for using the same are disclosed to provide a sanitary environment on which an individual can rest his or her head. In at least one embodiment, a disposable pillow cover is disclosed for managing a surface to be applied to a mammalian face. Such a disposable pillow cover comprises a medical-grade fabric configured to envelope at least a substantial portion of a pillow or a pillow encased in a pillowcase, and form a barrier against contaminants present in or on the underlying pillow and/or pillowcase. The medical-grade fabric may be sterile and/or may comprise a nonwoven fabric having one or more ultrasonic or heat-bonded seams. Additionally or alternatively, the medical-grade fabric of the disposable pillow cover may comprise a perforated portion that is adapted to tear upon application of a force.
  • [0020]
    The disposable pillow cover may comprise a first end and a second end, with the first end having a coupling component affixed thereto. In this at least one embodiment, the coupling component is adapted to securely couple with the medical-grade fabric of the disposable pillow cover. For example and without limitation, the coupling component may comprise a strip of adhesive capable of adhering to the medical-grade fabric of the disposable pillow cover. In at least one additional embodiment, the coupling component may be further configured to decouple with the medical-grade fabric of the disposable pillow cover upon application of a force. Further, the disposable pillow cover may additionally comprise an open end having at least one flap extending therefrom, a closed end, and an interior area extending between the open end and the closed end. Here, the interior area may be configured to receive at least a substantial portion of a pillow therein.
  • [0021]
    Methods are also described for managing the amount of contaminants to which a mammalian face is exposed during rest. In at least one embodiment, a method comprises the steps of: providing a disposable pillow cover for managing a surface to be applied to a mammalian face, the disposable pillow cover comprising a medical-grade fabric, and wrapping at least a substantial portion of a pillow with the disposable pillow cover to prevent any contaminants on the pillow from interacting with the face. In at least one embodiment, the pillow comprises a pillow encased in a pillowcase and the method further comprises the steps of wrapping at least a substantial portion of the pillow and pillowcase with the disposable pillow cover to prevent any contaminants on the pillow and pillowcase from interacting with the face.
  • [0022]
    In yet another embodiment, the method further comprises the step of removing the disposable pillow cover from the pillow and disposing of the same. Here, the step of removing the disposable pillow cover may comprising tearing the disposable pillow cover and/or sliding the pillow out of the disposable pillow cover. In those embodiments where the disposable pillow cover comprises a coupling component, the method may further comprise the step of securing the coupling component of the disposable pillow cover with the medical-grade fabric to facilitate retention of at least a substantial portion of the pillow within an interior area formed by the disposable pillow cover.
  • [0023]
    Kits for managing the post-operative recovery of mammalian facial skin are also described. In at least one embodiment, a kit for managing the post-operative recovery of mammalian facial skin comprises one or more of the disposable pillow covers described herein.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0024]
    Reference will now be made to the embodiments illustrated in the drawings and specific language will be used to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of scope is intended by the description of these embodiments.
  • [0025]
    Generally, a reusable, washable pillowcase is used to cover a pillow to prevent excretions and other contaminants from directly contacting the underlying pillow. Accordingly, pillowcase surfaces inevitably collect and store excretions such as saliva, tears and sweat and further harbor dust mites, dust mite feces, and other microscopic, household allergens simply by virtue of their intended use. The average person rests their face on a pillowcase at least eight (8) hours each day, during which time excretions from the person's pores, mouth and nose are necessarily deposited on the pillowcase surface. Further, conventional pillows themselves typically comprise an inner, stuffing material that is susceptible to storing impurities such as bacteria, germs, fungi, oils, detergents, softening agents and other allergens. As used herein, the term “contaminants” shall mean and include any substance, chemical, bacteria, fungi, fluid, irritant or other matter that may cause irritation, discomfort and/or infection to the skin.
  • [0026]
    Being in close contact with such an environment is not optimal for the skin, especially for those who have recently completed a medical treatment that may leave their skin at risk to contaminants or infection. Additionally, the repeated washing of pillows and/or pillowcases is not an infallible solution as residue from conventional detergents and/or softening agents ultimately remain within such fabric and are known to irritate and further inflame compromised or even sensitive skin. In addition, repeated launderings of reusable pillowcases do take a toll and ultimately result in a thinner, weaker fabric that is less capable of performing its intended function.
  • [0027]
    The benefits of single-use materials have been identified in the medical industry, where single-use gowns and drapes are regularly employed to ensure barrier effectiveness and satisfy the applicable sanitation guidelines. This same principle can be applied to individuals in their homes by providing a disposable pillow cover for one-time or limited use.
  • [0028]
    FIGS. 1-3B show various possible embodiments of a disposable pillow cover 10. The disposable pillow cover 10 is configured to be draped and/or fitted over a pillow and pillowcase 12 to provide a sanitary environment on which an individual can rest his or her head. The disposable pillow cover 10 is comprised of a medical-grade fabric that is manufactured without binders, latex, chemicals or adhesives. The medical-grade fabric may comprise any thickness so long as it provides a sufficient contaminant barrier between the user's face and the underlying pillowcase and/or pillow. The medical-grade fabric of the disposable pillow cover 10 may be woven or nonwoven and may or may not include patterns, indentations or grooves; however, it will be appreciated that any patterns, indentations or grooves that are present on the surface of the medical-grade fabric are configured such that they do not cause discomfort to the individual or create uncomfortable impressions on the individual's skin.
  • [0029]
    Further, in at least one embodiment where the pillow cover 10 comprises a nonwoven fabric having one or more seams, such seams can be ultrasonic or heat bonded seams such that even in the location of the seam(s), a consistent surface is provided and the creation of impressions on a user's face is avoided. As is known in the art, ultrasonic seams are created through the use of high frequency sound energy that softens or melts the thermoplastic of a joint. The ultrasonic vibrations can effectively fuse two or more pieces of fabric together, thereby eliminating the need for needles, thread or glue. As a result, there are no stitch holes or glue gaps present, which is often beneficial for medical products as the ultimate result is a bonded fabric that is soft, reliable and free of abrasive seams. Similarly, heat welding techniques can also achieve a similar result using heat energy to form the non-abrasive fabric seam.
  • [0030]
    Accordingly, the disposable pillow cover 10 provides a soft, comfortable and sterilized surface against which an individual may rest his or her skin without the risk of contamination or infection. Furthermore, due to the nature and cost of the medical-grade fabric of the disposable pillow cover 10, an individual may simply remove and dispose of the disposable pillow cover 10 after a single or limited use. In this manner, an individual can ensure that each time he or she rests their head against the pillow enveloped in a new disposable pillow cover 10, their skin is exposed and in contact with a sanitary—if not sterile—environment.
  • [0031]
    In at least one embodiment, the medical-grade fabric of the disposable pillow cover 10 comprises a soft fabric that is medically indicated for wound care. In this manner, the disposable pillow cover 10 is capable of providing an individual with a sanitary surface against which to rest his or her face that is devoid of all contaminants and/or allergens that may irritate and/or infect the individual's compromised skin. For example, and without limitation, the disposable pillow cover 10 may comprise a high-purity fabric structure that is commonly used to make surgical gowns and drapes. In at least one embodiment, the disposable pillow cover 10 may be comprised of medical fabric manufactured by E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, product number 8001, sold under the brand name SoftesseŽ. In at least one additional embodiment, the disposable pillow cover 10 may comprise a nonwoven fabric comprised of fibers bonded together by heat treatment such as the fabrics used in medical gowns, hazmat suits, and medical-grade face masks.
  • [0032]
    The disposable pillow cover 10 is configured such that it may removable, albeit securely, envelope a pillow and/or pillowcase 5. FIG. 1 shows at least one configuration of the disposable pillow cover 10 that may be employed. In this at least one example, the disposable pillow cover 10 comprises an envelope-like shape having an open end 12, a closed end 14 and an interior 16 extending therebetween. The open end 12 of the disposable pillow cover 10 is configured to receive the pillow and/or pillowcase 5 therethrough and comprises one or more flaps 18 extending therefrom. Each of the one or more flaps 18 is configured to facilitate retention of the pillow and/or pillowcase 5 within the interior 16 of the disposable pillow cover 10. Accordingly, when the disposable pillow cover 10 is in use (i.e. an individual has applied it over his or her pillow and/or pillowcase 5 and is resting on the disposable pillow cover 10), the disposable pillow cover 10 is prevented from slipping off of the underlying pillow and/or pillowcase 5 and thereby exposing the individual's skin to the contaminants thereon.
  • [0033]
    In at least one embodiment, the flaps 18 of the open end 12 of the disposable pillow cover 10 may further comprise a coupling component 20 attached thereto. The coupling component 20 of the disposable pillow cover 10 may comprise any material or device that is capable of facilitating the secure placement of the disposable pillow cover 10 over the pillow and/or pillowcase 5. For example, in at least one embodiment, the coupling component 20 may comprise one or more strips of a hook-and-loop fastener such as VelcroŽ. Alternatively, the coupling component 20 may comprise one or more buttons or other type of fasteners known in the art.
  • [0034]
    Alternatively, as shown in the at least one embodiment of FIGS. 2A and 2B, the disposable pillow cover 10 may comprise a length of medical-grade fabric comprising a first end 13 and a second end 15, the length of medical-grade fabric configured to be wrapped around a substantial portion of the exterior of a pillow and/or pillowcase 5 (not shown). For example, in at least one embodiment, the length of medical-grade fabric may be formed in a rectangular configuration that is about twenty-six inches (26″) wide by forty-four inches (44″) long. It will be appreciated that any dimensions may be used and that this at least one embodiment of the disposable pillow cover 10 is versatile and may be modified to fit many different shapes and sizes of pillows and/or pillowcases 5.
  • [0035]
    The first end 13 of the disposable pillow cover 10 may further comprise the coupling component 20 attached thereto. As previously described in conjunction with the aforementioned embodiments, the coupling component 20 may comprise any material or device that is capable of facilitating the secure placement of the disposable pillow cover 10 over the pillow and/or pillowcase 5. In the at least one embodiment shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B, the coupling component 20 comprises double-sided adhesive formulated to irreversibly adhere with the medical-grade fabric of the disposable pillow cover 10. Accordingly, when the at least one embodiment of the disposable pillow cover 10 shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B is applied to a pillow and/or pillowcase 5, the disposable pillow cover 10 is wrapped around at least a substantial portion of the pillow and/or pillowcase 5. Thereafter, the coupling component 20 is used to secure the disposable pillow cover 10 in place by coupling with the medical-grade fabric of the disposable pillow cover 10 itself. In this manner, when the disposable pillow cover 10 is in use, the coupling component 20 and the underlying pillow and/or pillowcase 5 are shielded from coming into contact with the user's face.
  • [0036]
    One example of the disposable pillow cover 10 design described in connection with FIGS. 2A and 2B is illustrated in FIGS. 2C and 2D as applied over a pillow and/or pillowcase 5. As shown in FIGS. 2C and 2D, this at least one embodiment of the disposable pillow cover 10 is applied across the width of the pillow and/or pillowcase 5, thus leaving the ends 6 of the underlying pillow and/or pillowcase 5 exposed. It will also be appreciated that the disposable pillow cover 10 may alternatively be applied around the length of the pillow, thereby leaving the sides of the pillow and/or pillowcase 5 exposed. The disposable pillow cover 10 shown in FIGS. 2C and 2D may comprise the coupling component 20, as is shown in the at least one embodiment in FIGS. 2A and 2B. Alternatively, the first end 13 and second end 16 of the disposable pillow cover 10 may be bonded together at an ultrasonic or heat bonded seam such that the disposable pillow cover 10 comprises an sheath having two open ends such that the pillow and/or pillowcase 5 can be slid therethrough.
  • [0037]
    Now referring to FIGS. 3A and 3B, at least one alternative embodiment of a disposable pillow cover 10 is shown. In this at least one embodiment, the disposable pillow cover 10 comprises a single flap 18 extending from the open end 14 thereof. The coupling component 20 of the single flap 18 comprises a strip of non-toxic, double-sided adhesive formulated to irreversibly adhere with the fabric of the disposable pillow cover 10. As shown in FIG. 3B, when the disposable pillow cover 10 is positioned over the pillow and/or pillowcase 5, the flap 18 is configured to fold such that the coupling component 20 positioned thereon can adhere with the inner surface of the open end 14 of the disposable pillow cover 10. In this manner, the coupling component 20 may be used to secure the disposable pillow cover 10 to the pillow and/or pillowcase 5 such that a barrier is formed between the individual using the disposable pillow cover 10 and the underlying pillow and/or pillowcase 5. Furthermore, in the at least one embodiment shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B, the placement of the coupling component 20 with respect to the flap 18 prevents the coupling component 20 from coming into contact with the individual's face when the disposable pillow cover 10 is in use.
  • [0038]
    While embodiments relating to how the disposable pillow cover 10 may be configured and applied to a pillow and/or pillowcase 5 have been described herein, it will be appreciated that the disposable pillow cover 10 may be configured in any manner so as to envelope any shape or size of pillow and/or pillowcase 5. Furthermore, for those embodiments of the disposable pillow cover 10 that further comprise the coupling component 20, the coupling component 20 may be positioned on the at least one flap 18 in any location, provided, however, that when the coupling component 20 is coupled with the disposable pillow cover 10 to retain the pillow and/or pillowcase 5 within the interior 16 of the disposable pillow cover 10, the coupling component 20 does not interfere with or pose a risk of irritation to an individual's skin. Alternatively, the disposable pillow cover 10 may comprise an ultrasonic or heat-bonded seam and be shaped in an open-sheath like configuration.
  • [0039]
    Additionally, the disposable pillow cover 10 is configured to be easily applied to and removed from the pillow and/or pillowcase 5. With respect to the at least one embodiment of the pillow cover 10 comprising an ultrasonic or heat-bonded seam, the disposable pillow cover 10 may be configured to easily slip over and off of a pillow and/or pillowcase. Further, in at least one embodiment, the medical-grade fabric of the disposable pillow cover 10 may comprise a perforated edge that can be torn when the proper pressure is applied thereto. Additionally or alternatively, the coupling component 20 of the disposable pillow cover 10 may be easily uncoupled from the disposable pillow cover 10 such that an individual may easily remove the disposable pillow cover 10 from the pillow and/or pillowcase 5 after use.
  • [0040]
    In application, the disposable pillow cover 10 may be used to provide a consistent and sanitary environment on which to rest and/or heal. Now referring to FIG. 4, various steps of a method 100 for using the disposable pillow cover 10 are illustrated. For ease of understanding, the steps of method 100 will be discussed relative to a patient who is using the disposable pillow cover 10 after a dermatologic procedure, but it will be appreciated that the disposable pillow cover 10 can be used to perform the method 100 for any user so long as the user is employing the disposable pillow cover 10 for one-time or limited use over a pillow and/or pillowcase 5 in order to provide a sanitary surface against which to rest.
  • [0041]
    Use of the disposable pillow cover 10 by patients who have recently undergone a medical or cosmetic dermatologic procedure enables such patients' skin to heal without the increased risk of infection. Such treatments may include, without limitation, laser treatments, chemical or mechanical abrasion, medical treatments for acne or other skin disorders, the application of pre-cancerous topical medications and other facial procedures and surgeries. As it is required that sterile surfaces are employed during the performance of such procedures, incorporating similar sterile and/or sanitary resting surfaces to block contaminants from contacting the patient's vulnerable skin is beneficial to the skin's recovery process and the overall wellness of the patient after the patient has left the medical facility and returned home. The fewer complications these patients experience post-treatment, the more likely the patient will experience an accelerated healing process and ultimately obtain the optimal results of such dermatologic treatments.
  • [0042]
    After a patient undergoes a dermatologic procedure that compromises the patient's skin to some degree, at step 102 the patient is provided with one or more disposable pillow covers 10 for use in conjunction with the patient's post-procedure recovery. The patient may obtain the disposable pillow covers 10 from a general retail outlet or the disposable pillow covers 10 may be provided to the patient by the clinic or other facility where the dermatologic procedure was performed. When the patient is ready to rest, prior to allowing his or her facial skin to come into contact with a pillow and/or pillowcase 5, at step 104 the patient inserts the pillow and/or pillowcase 5 into the interior 16 of a disposable pillow cover 10. By enveloping the pillow and/or pillowcase 5 within the sanitary, medical-grade fabric, the patient can effectively regulate the environment against which he or she will be resting their compromised—and therefore vulnerable—skin. Accordingly, any contaminants present on the pillow and/or pillowcase 5 are prevented from making contact with the patient's face by the barrier provided by the sanitary disposable pillow cover 10. In this manner, the patient can ensure that he or she is resting against a sterile and/or sanitary surface, facilitate the healing process post-treatment and decrease their risk of infection. At step 108, the patient uses the pillow and/or pillowcase 5 enveloped within the disposable pillow cover 10 to rest his or her head.
  • [0043]
    In the event the disposable pillow cover 10 comprises the at least one embodiment having a coupling component 20, the method 100 may proceed from step 104 to step 106. At optional step 106 the patient secures the disposable pillow cover 10 to the pillow and/or pillowcase 5 using the coupling component 20. As previously described, the disposable pillow cover 10 is designed such that the coupling component 20 will not interfere with or irritate the patient's skin and functions to ensure that the pillow and/or pillowcase 5 does not slide out from within the disposable pillow cover 10 while the patient is asleep or otherwise using the pillow and/or pillowcase 5. After step 106 is complete and the disposable pillow cover 10 is secured around the underlying pillow and/or pillowcase 5, the method 100 then proceeds to step 108 as previously described.
  • [0044]
    After the patient has finished resting or using the pillow and/or pillowcase 5, at step 110 the patient removes the disposable pillow cover 10 from the pillow and/or pillowcase 5 and disposes of the same. Removal of the used disposable pillow cover 10 from the pillow and/or pillowcase 5 may be accomplished simply by tearing the fabric of the disposable pillow cover 10, uncoupling the coupling component 20 from the disposable pillow cover 10 or, with respect to embodiments configured similarly to the at least one embodiment shown in FIG. 1, simply sliding the pillow and/or pillowcase 5 out from within the interior 16 of the disposable pillow cover 10. Thereafter, the next time the patient desires to rest against the pillow and/or pillowcase 5, the method advances back to step 104 and the patient again inserts his or her pillow and/or pillowcase 5 into a new disposable pillow cover 10. In this manner, each time the patient uses the pillow and/or pillowcase 5, he or she is provided with a sanitary surface upon which to rest their head.
  • [0045]
    In at least one additional embodiment of the method 100, a traveler may employ the disposable pillow cover 10 in order to avoid exposing his or herself to the contaminants embedded within the pillows and/or pillowcases used in hotels and other lodging establishments. Accordingly, as hotels commonly use standard re-useable cloth pillowcases, the disposable pillow cover 10 can also be employed to shield traveler's skin from any residual oils, bacteria, fungi, detergents, softening agents and/or allergens that remain embedded in even recently laundered pillowcases and pillows. Furthermore, it will be appreciated that those individuals suffering from skin disorders such as rashes, acne, contact dermatitis, etc. may also utilize the method 100 to obtain a sanitary surface that will not further inflame and/or irritate their skin.
  • [0046]
    In the embodiments discussed herein, such a disposable pillow cover 10 and method 100 provide a consistent surface for managing the amount of contaminants to which a person is exposed to when using a pillow. While various embodiments of the disposable pillow cover 10 and method 100 have been described in considerable detail herein, the embodiments are merely offered by way of non-limiting examples. Many variations and modifications of the embodiments described herein will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art in light of the disclosure. For example, method 100 is not just limited to patients experiencing post-operative recovery. The method 100 may also be used by travelers or other individuals who prefer to control the amount of bacteria, fungi, oils, detergents and chemicals with which their skin comes into contact. It will therefore be understood that various changes and modifications may be made, and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof, without departing from the scope of the disclosure. Indeed, this disclosure is not intended to be exhaustive or limiting. The scope of the disclosure is to be defined by the claims attached hereto and by their equivalents.
  • [0047]
    Further, in describing representative embodiments, the disclosure may have presented a method and/or process as a particular sequence of steps. However, to the extent that the method or process does not rely on the particular order of steps set forth herein, the method or process should not be limited to the particular sequence of steps described. As one of ordinary skill in the art would appreciate, other sequences of steps may be possible. Therefore, the particular order of the steps disclosed herein should not be construed as limitations on the claims. In addition, any future claims directed to a method and/or process should not be limited to the performance of their steps in the order written and, as such, the sequences may be varied and still remain within the spirit and scope of the present disclosure.
  • [0048]
    It is therefore intended that this description and the attached and any hereinafter drafted claims encompasses all modifications and changes apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art based on this disclosure.
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Referenced by
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US8464376Jun 22, 2012Jun 18, 2013Perfect Fit Industries, LlcCover for a pillow or cushion
US9155408 *Jan 10, 2014Oct 13, 2015Bedgear, LlcPillow protector
Classifications
U.S. Classification5/490
International ClassificationA47G9/02
Cooperative ClassificationA47G9/0253
European ClassificationA47G9/02B2