Do You Need a New Mattress if You Have Allergies?

One of the greatest customer service challenges we face regularly is making sure that a new dust mite proof zippered cover arrives on the same day as a customer’s new mattress.  Everyone wants the guys delivering the mattress to put the new dust mite mattress cover on their new mattress.  Great idea and we are always happy to accommodate.  But it did get me thinking, “Why are so many people with dust mite allergies buying a new mattress?”  After doing a little research, it turns out that there is some misunderstanding going around about mattresses, pillows, and dust mites.
 
It is true that a sizable amount of an old mattress’s weight is due to the collection of dead skin particles, dust mites (living and dead), and dust mite feces.  However, if you get a new mattress, within 6 months you will have already started a new collection of these particles.  I am sure that the mattress salesmen of the world would like you to buy a new mattress every 6 months, but that really isn’t practical now is it?
 
The truth is whether you have allergies or not, you should follow the advice of Consumer Reports and only replace a mattress when it no longer provides the comfort or support you need to get a good night’s rest.  If you have dust mite allergies, the most important thing you can do for your mattress is encase it in a zippered mattress dust mite proof encasing.  This is true of a mattress that is 10 years old and it is true of a mattress that is 10 days old.
 
Don’t fall for claims made by manufacturers of latex, foam, and wool mattresses that their products do not need a dust mite mattress cover.  It is true that the lanolin in wool repels dust mites, but it is also true that the very same wool will capture and hold all the allergens to which it is exposed.  Latex and memory foam are dense, but not so dense that they don’t harbor mites and other allergens.
 
Also, every so often you really should clean your mattress (yes, even if you have a cover on it). Your mattress influences your health beyond just comfort and support.
 
If you’re not familiar with the ways on how to clean and maintain your mattress, then you’ll love this infographic from ASleepyWolf.Com.  It is an informative guide on mattress care!
 
Mattress Care 101: The Ultimate Guide For An Ageing Mattress 2019
(Layla Parker, the founder and chief editor of ASleepyWolf. ” I decided to start taking my blog about sleep seriously to help people find what they needed to experience better sleep and maintain their health.” Please check out her website ASleepyWolf.com to learn more about improving your sleep.)
 
I slept on an old soft-sided waterbed for many years. You might think that dust mites can’t live in a waterbed.  Wrong! The padded foam that encapsulates the water cells is a perfect place to capture dust mite allergens.  So even though I could not put a zippered dust mite cover on my bed, I had a fitted style cover.
 
The people that sell pillows would like you to buy new pillows every 2 years.  I sell pillows and I would love to sell you new pillows all the time as well.  However, I will be honest and tell you that you should buy a new pillow when your old one is no longer comfortable.  If you have dust mite allergies, just make sure you have a dust mite proof cover on the pillow.
 

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Breast Cancer and Parabens Could be Connected

A study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology reports breast cancer and parabens connection in journal of toxicologystrong evidence for the connection between breast cancer and parabens.  You can read more here at  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jat.1786/abstract.

In a nutshell, researchers in England studied the tissue removed as part of mastectomies and in 99% of the cases, the tissue contained parabens. The tissues studied came from different parts of the breast and from women of all ages and breastfeeding history.  The one thing they all had in common was the presence of parabens.

Parabens are widely used in the cosmetic and personal care industries as preservatives.  While some folks have long suspected deodorants to be a factor in cancer, it is interesting to note that some of these women didn’t use any form of deodorant (must be an English thing). Parabens also a common irritant to people that are sensitive and can cause dermatitis.

Deodorants can contain parabens, as well as shampoos, conditioners, shaving creams, sunscreens and other substances that people apply directly to their skin and hair.  Kind of scary when you consider that your skin is the largest organ in your body.  You think you are doing something to protect yourself when in fact you could be doing more harm than good.  We don’t recommend that you stop using skin lotions and creams and sunscreens and we aren’t saying to quit washing your hair.  But we are saying to be aware of what you are putting on your body and start reading labels if you don’t do so already!

Dermatologists have been recommending VaniCream and Free & Clear personal care products for years because they are free from dyes, fragrances, masking fragrances, and other irritating substances.  Based on these findings, I  recommend that anyone concerned about breast cancer and parabens should start reading labels.  Look for parabens in any of their skin or hair care products.

Even if you don’t have outward appearances of sensitivity to parabens, bad things can be going on under the surface.  The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database of personal care products has always rated the Vanicream and Free & Clear products as safe.  The Vanicream Sunsport sunscreen made the list of preferred sunscreens this year.  If you are already using a paraben free skin cream like Vanicream, be sure to tell your friends and family about this breast cancer link and urge them to start reading labels.

Friends don’t let friends use skin and hair care products with parabens!

Til Next Time

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Holiday Guests Allergic to Your Pets?

Holiday Guests and Allergies

Two people have reminded me that Christmas will be upon me before I know it.  Thanks for the reminder!  Exactly who took my 2018 and will they please bring it back?  If you are expecting guests allergic to your pet, its time to take action!

Holidays are a great time.  Family and friends gather together for good conversation, good food, and good company.  But if you have pets and your guests have allergies, wheezing, sneezing, and a grab for the rescue inhaler can put a damper on the fun.

It doesn’t have to be like that!  If you do a little advance planning and work, you can invite guests allergic to your pets to safely share the holidays with you and your pets.

In this post, I am going to focus on the “day” guest.  This is a person that will be coming into your home for a few hours, but not spending the night.  I will cover overnight guests in another post to come.

There’s no time like the present

The time to start preparing is now!  The first thing you must do is understand what is the cause of pet allergy. Then you will understand how to control it.

Cats, dogs, and other furred animals secrete a protein in their saliva and urine that commonly misidentified by the immune system of a person with allergies.

Cat Grooming - Pet DanderEvery time the animals grooms itself or empties its bladder, bits of this protein stick to the skin and fur. It dries up and flakes off, either on its own accord or is shed with that bit of skin or fur.  Once it is off the animal, it becomes airborne and is inhaled by the allergic person.

The immune system of the allergic person has previously misidentified this protein upon a prior encounter with an animal.  The immune system thinks the protein is a germ. It has created a specific IgE for that protein and upon every subsequent exposure it thinks it is fighting the same germ again and again. The mast cells start producing histamine and it just goes downhill for the allergic person from there.

So, step one is complete! You now know why the animal makes the allergic person feel sick. The second step is to identify where the allergen has collected in your home and the final step is cleaning it up. 

Game plan

Look around the rooms where your guests will be hanging out.  Note upholstered furniture, rugs, carpets, and draperies.  These fiber surfaces collect these shed bits of protein and when they are disturbed, they release the allergens back into the air.

Start applying Allerpet solution for cats or dogs about 2 weeks before your guests come to visit.  Just wipe the animal down with this mild denaturing agent. It will stop the animal from adding to the allergen level that already exists in your home. Do this at least once a week.

About a week before the big visit day, start spraying all the fiber surfaces with a denaturing agent like ADMS Anti-allergen Spray.  While primarily marketed for dust mite allergy, this product works great on allergens from cats, dogs, molds, pollen, cockroaches, and all the other common household allergens.

The day before the guests arrive, vacuum all the fiber surfaces thoroughly and then spray them down one more time with ADMS.

Special Note: You don’t want to vacuum just before your guests arrive. Most vacuum cleaners will just send the settled allergens up into the air, where they will be more easily inhaled by your guest.

The morning of the big day, reapply Allerpet to the animal (as an added benefit this is a great-coat conditioner so you pet will look great for the guests!) and lightly spray down any areas where the pet sleeps.

Relax and enjoy

 

Now, go knock their socks off with your awesome culinary talents!  Whether you order in or go all out cooking, your guests will be comfortable, your pet will be shiny and you will be thankful you read this post today!

Till next time

Cheryl
The Allergy Store

Allergy elimination is about eliminating the allergy-causing substance in your home the best you can. Once you do this, you may be able to eliminate the need for all the medications and doctor visits. For additional information please click here to download your free copy of” You Can Do It! Allergy Free Living.

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