Does wearing a mask when sick accomplish anything?

In Japan, when people catch a cold or whatever, they generally wear a surgical mask when out and about. As I hear it, the reasons for this are that 1) It keeps the disease from spreading, and 2) you get better faster.

However, so far as I have been able to tell people get sick in Japan just as often as people elsewhere even though they wear the masks, and in my knowledge of sickness having a road block over your mouth shouldn’t have any effect whatsoever on your healing time.

So, are Japanese just shelling out needless funds to the companies that make these masks?

It is not to help you. Actually, it is for you to prevent spreading it to others.

This is at least what the governments say during the SAR outbreak.

It may also be due to allegric substances in the air. A mask may help to keep those subtances out.

No idea. A previous girlfriend said that it helps to keep in the warm air, your body stays warmer and the disease is killed off faster.

But the question is whether it actually works. Something like SARS I can imagine being blocked if everyone wears the mask every day until it fades. But I doubt that we’re going to have any success convincing everyone in the world to wear a mask until the common cold dies off (assuming it even would through such means.) So far as I have ever been able to tell, people catch cold just as often here as in non-mask-wearing countries so from that it would seem that this is simply a superstition.

In this thread I gave a detailed explaination of what a surgical mask will and wil not do.
I just woke up, so You’ll need to read it. I’m too sleepy to write.