Can dust mites cause a skin rash?

Red bumps are all over your skin when you get up in the morning. Your skin is red, covered in bumps, and itches like crazy, but doesn’t look dry. Can dust mites cause a skin rash? Sure, you can get a rash from a dust mite,  but it is probably not for the reason you may think.

Allergic Dermatitis

You may think that dust mites bite, like mosquitoes or bed bugs, and that is what causes the skin rash. But that’s not the reason dust mites cause a skin rash.

The rash is a form of dermatitis caused by inhaling small bits of a protein that is produced by the tiny dust mite.  The dust mite doesn’t have teeth and they don’t chew. They secrete a protein that digests their food (they live on shed skin cells). This protein is on the inside of the body and is excreted in their feces. This protein is the source of the number one household allergen, Der f1. Dust mites are so small you can’t see them, their feces are even smaller. But their feces and parts of their dead bodies are a major component of dust in your house.

dust mites picture
Dust Mite Magnified

When you inhale this dust, your body reacts to the protein and starts to produce inflammation. The inflammation can lead to many symptoms, and allergic dermatitis is one. To stop the rash, you must stop breathing the dust mite protein. That means you must stop the dust mite.

Control the Dust Mites and Control the Rash

Dust mites want to live where it is warm, dark, moist, and there is an abundance of food. Your bed is the perfect environment for dust mites. As you sleep, you shed skin; their primary diet. So, there’s lots of food in your bed. In addition, when you lay on your bed, you provide a source of warmth and moisture to the dust mites. Lastly, the sheets and covers help keep your bed dark, even in the daytime. As you can see, the bedroom is a haven for dust mites.

zippered cover that stops dust mitesTo stop the skin rash, you must stop the mites. First, cut off their food supply and trap them where they live. Put a special dust mite proof zippered mattress encasement on the bed. The specially made cover won’t let any more food through to the bed and it won’t let any dust mites out.  Next, wash sheets every 7 days in water that is 140°F hot. That will kill the dust mites and wash them away. If you can’t get the water that hot, use special washing products like De-Mite or Allergen Wash that are made to remove dust mite allergens. Remove curtains and rugs from the bedroom or wash them once a week.  Be sure to dust weekly with damp rags.

Yes, dust mites can cause a skin rash. But it’s not because they walk on you or bite you. It’s because they produce an allergy-causing protein that you inhale. The key is learning how to prevent dust mites and their allergens from becoming a problem.

Wishing you the best of health

The Allergy Store

 

 

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Can You Get Hives from Dust?

Hives (technically urticaria) are raised, itchy bumps on the skin. They can last a few hours or linger for days. No matter how long they last, they can make you miserable. The cause of hives can be elusive to pin down. They are the result of an allergic reaction. Can you get hives from dust? Yes, if the dust contains allergens you can get hives from dust. Here’s why.

What’s in Dust

Dust is just tiny, fine particles of stuff. That stuff can be anything. Indoors, dust is made up of textile fibers, shed bits of human and pet skin, hair, fur, food crumbs, feces from cockroaches dust mites and other indoor pests, pollen and soil. It can also contain small bits of paper, road dust and dead dust mite particles.

Dust is disgusting. It is a microcosm of our environment, reduced to a fine powder. If you are allergic to one or more of the components of the dust in your house it can cause hives, watery eyes, sneezing, wheezing coughing or a stuffy or runny nose.

Dust can make you miserable.

dust frequently to prevent hives from dust

Protecting Yourself from Dust

The best way to protect yourself from dust is to prevent it. Keep road dust out by closing doors and windows. Minimize pet allergens in dust by keeping pets outdoors.

You can reduce the amount of textile fibers in dust by removing carpeting and rugs and replacing fabric upholstered furniture with wood and leather furniture. If you have throws and blankets, wash them frequently to remove loose fibers and shed skin from people and pets. If you can’t replace furniture, carpets or rugs, spray them frequently with denaturing sprays like ADMS antiallergen spray. These sprays break down the allergens in the dust without staining or adding any fragrance to the air.

To keep the dust mites and dust mite feces out of your dust cover your mattress and pillows in special dust mite proof covers. Wash sheets every 7 days in hot water to get rid of the dust there.

Vacuum and dust at least once a week. Use a HEPA filtered vacuum and wear a mask that prevents against dust. Dust with damp rags to prevent particles from becoming airborne and settling again.

Run HEPA filtered air cleaners to reduce the amount of dust floating in the air.

Easing the Misery of Hives

If you get hives from dust, don’t scratch. It’s hard not to scratch, but you can injure the skin and risk infection from MRSA or impetigo.

Oral antihistamines can reduce the itch and swelling from hives. Soaks in Epsom salt or colloidal oatmeal baths can soothe hives. Always soak in warm or cool water and pat skin dry, don’t rub skin with a towel.

Calamine lotion or aloe gel can also easy the misery of hives. Don’t use any topical solution with an antihistamine. These can cause allergic reactions that will just make the hives worse.

Got a Question?

Just ask us in comments below

Cheryl

 

 

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Thinking Back to School for College?

Allergy Store Back to school savingsIts not even the end of July yet, but its time to start thinking about back to school for college.  Colleges and universities generally begin classes sometime after August 20.  That means you have just a little over a month to prepare to send your young adult off on their college adventure.

Back to School for College – Plan Ahead

It doesn’t matter if this is their freshman year or they are returning as a senior.  Something always gets forgotten in the shuffle and put off until the last minute.  Don’t let that forgotten item be your student’s back to school allergy control plan.

As a parent, you try to protect your child as best as you can.  Leaving for college may be the first time your kid has been out of your care for any extended period of time.  It is scary for you and you admit it. Its scary for them and they will never in a million years admit it!

If your child has environmental allergies, you have probably been making sure that their bed linens were washed weekly and that their rooms were kept to a minimum disaster level. Once they leave home, you won’t have control and trust me, they aren’t going to make tidiness a priority in their lives.  So what can you do?

Back to School for College With Allergies

First, when you send them away, make sure they have a zippered mattress cover for their dorm room mattress and zippered covers for their pillows.

Traditionally, dorm beds have always been long twin size (39 x 80 ) but in the last few years more and more student housing has full size (54 x 75 ) size beds.  Be sure to check BEFORE you go so you get the proper size.  Just go ahead and face the fact that they aren’t going to change their sheets weekly.  Consider yourself lucky if they do it monthly.  Give them extra sheet sets, but also make sure they have a bottle of ADMS Antiallergen Spray.  Encourage them to use it generously.  If they aren’t going to clean the mess, at least they can denature the allergens that are collecting there.  Spraying the sheets ever week is not as good as washing, but it is far better than nothing!

Take the HEPA air cleaner out of the bedroom at the house and send it away with them.  It will do them far more good in their dorm room than it will running in their empty bedroom at your house.  Our daughter used her Austin Air HealthMate Junior as a bedside table when she was away at college.  A trick she learned from her older brother!

Keeping their immune system in tip top shape is important for their allergies and difficult when they aren’t under your watchful eye.  Gummy vitamins might encourage them to stick with taking their vitamins.  Don’t laugh.  My son is an adult with a wife and a mortgage and he still takes gummy vitamins.  If it works, don’t mess with it!

Leave them with plenty of bottled water.  No matter how much the plastic bottles disturb your desire to save the planet, let your desire to make sure they drink lots of water prevail.  If the water is convenient, they will drink it.  Proper hydration is key to keeping the immune system in good shape.  Make it easy to stay hydrated.  We packed the mini fridge with water bottles and put more in the clothes closet.  Understand that their diet will suffer.  If their diets suffers, the immune system suffers.  When the immune systems suffers allergies are almost impossible to get under control.  Do stock them up with healthful snacks.  Dried fruit, especially cranberries and blueberries are immune boosters.

SAVE 20% Now on dorm room bedding.  Great selection of mattress covers, mattress pads and comforters.

Til Next Time

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