Heat and Allergies – You Can be Allergic to Heat

Since the heat isn’t going to break anytime soon, I thought I would touch on the subject of heat and allergies.

Can you be allergic to the heat?  You can!

Cholinergic Urticaria is a type of rash or hives that is caused by an increase in body temperature.  The body temperature may be increased to to physical exertion, external heat exposure, emotional stress, or just eating spicy foods.  These hives are usually very small.  Smaller than a mosquito bite and more the size of a pin prick.  They can cover the face, torso, or legs and arms. They are more prone to appear where heat can be trapped next to the body as by clothing, the waistband of pants or underwear or the band of a hat.

It is difficult to properly diagnose this form of allergy.  Doctors can test using standard challenge tests or by exposing the body to heat. Treatment can be in the form of standard anti-histamines.  In some individuals, beta blockers can be used when the source cause is emotional stress.

This type of rash or skin allergy is not to be confused with heat rash.  Heat rash occurs when the sweat glands are clogged and the sweat can’t get to the surface of the skin.  Heat rash is not allergy-related.

As temperatures soar, grasses may start to release their pollens.  Pollens from grasses are very light-weight and are easily carried by the wind.  You might want to wear a dust mask for gardening (like the Q-Mask) if you are going to be outside on windy, dry days.

Trying to keep cool in the summer months can be tough.  But that’s why nature provides shade and cucumbers.  Did you know that the inside of a cucumber can be up to 20 degrees cooler than the outside temperature?  Cucumbers are mostly water, so eating a chilled cucumber can be refreshing.  They also contain anti-inflammatory agents. That is why they work to reduce swelling around the eyes.

I have written before about the benefits of cotton in the heat.  Sleep on cotton sheets and wear loose cotton clothing as much as possible.  This will allow sweat to evaporate, keeping the body cool and your temperature regulated.

Don’t loose your cool.  Come January and February you will be wishing for this heat!
Until next time

Send Germs and Molds Packing with Antimicrobial Spray

Vital-Oxide is an antimicrobial spray with many household uses.

The bulk of the product we sell is for someone that has had some type of mold contamination and they are looking for a way to safely and effectively clean up the problem.   Vital-Oxide is great for that.  But as an all-purpose antimicrobial spray, Vital-Oxide does more.

The active ingredient is chlorine dioxide.  Now don’t let the word “chlorine” make you think of chlorine bleach like you use in the laundry or put in your swimming pool.  The Clorox stuff is sodium hypochlorite, which is totally different.  Sodium hypochlorite is a skin and mucous membrane irritant and can damage the respiratory system.  It breaks down into trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids.

Chlorine dioxide breaks down into chlorites and sodium chloride (table salt) and is not a metabolic toxin.  It reacts with the amino acids in the microbial cells to eliminate bacteria and viruses but is relatively un-reactive to other organic materials.

As a bonus, it also denatures proteins, and proteins are the source of allergic reactions. Vital-Oxide will work on Der f1 and Der p1 (the dust mite allergens) as well as Can d1 and Fel d1 (animal allergens)

Because it works at the microbial level, it will get rid of odors at the source.  I have found many uses for the product in my house.  We often take advantage of sales on chicken breast.  Our local butcher will run a special on chicken breasts that must come from birds the size of Tim Tebow.

These birds would make Loni Anderson and Dolly Parton feel inadequate.  They are the largest breasts I have ever seen.  They require further butchering and trimming down to become meal size for our household of 2.

Needless to say, after cutting up 10 to 15 pounds of chicken the cutting board, your hands, and the knife is a bit of a mess.  I clean up with Vital-Oxide and let the antimicrobial spray go to work killing any salmonella or other germs that may have come home with the chicken.

After someone has had a cold, I like to wipe down door handles, knobs, and remote controls to keep germs in check.  When we briefly had a cat that had litter box issues, the odor-eliminating properties of the antimicrobial spray were put to use.  Just wipe up the urine, spray the area, then a little squirt in the air and the smell was gone.

We have a family member that is an MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) carrier.  We have to be very careful that it does not spread.  Vital-Oxide is great for killing this bacteria and we put it to work in the bathroom, wiping down surfaces to take care of any germs that might be left behind.  Because it is not a metabolic toxin, it won’t contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria.  As anyone who deals with MRSA knows, this is an important health issue today.

Of course, Vital-Oxide works well on mold. Because it doesn’t produce chlorine gas, it can be used indoors without fear of respiratory damage.  It was EPA approved for use to combat norovirus back in 2007 and has been used to clean up the cruise ships here in Miami.

So whether it is mold, chicken mess, cat pee, bacteria, or viruses, Vital-Oxide is a great all-purpose antimicrobial spray.

Til Next Time!

The Allergy Store

Bed Bug Treatment if you Bring Bed Bugs Home

The last few posts have been about bed bugs. We talk quite a bit about avoiding bed bugs. But what do you do if you didn’t manage to avoid them and now you have them.   What is the scoop on bed bug treatment.
Bed Bugs Like to Hide
Many people try to handle bed beg treatment on their own.  While you can vacuum and wipe and clean, the problem with bed bugs is that they will hide in small cracks and crevices that you can’t get into.  One of their favorite hiding places is the crevice between the wall and the baseboard. So, if you try to do it yourself, keep in mind you will need to also be handy with a caulk gun to fill all the cracks and crevices in the room.  You will also need to invest in a high quality steam cleaner.
You will also want to take apart all the furniture.  I’ve so many stories of people finding them on top of the rails for the drawers in their dressers.
No EPA Registered Pesticide for Bed Bugs
No pesticide is registered with the EPA for bed bugs. There are many cedar oil companies that make claims about cedar oil and bed bugs, but none are EPA registered for bedbugs.  The EPA only requires efficacy studies when the pest in question is a public health menace (bed bugs are annoying but not considered a public health risk).  So, if you are trying to do it yourself, you are truly going it alone, with no government standards or studies to back you up.
How to Hire a Professional
If you want to hire a professional, take your time.  Look for someone that practices Integrated Pest Management. Make sure they are licensed and ask for references.  Ask if they provide a written inspection report. Avoid companies that quote one flat fee.  Every home is different, every infestation is different, every bed bug treatment plan is different.  Anybody that quotes flat fees isn’t taking into account these differences.
No Matter the Bed Bug Treatment Don’t Forget the Covers!
Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, they all agree that you must encase all bedding in zippered bed bug proof covers.
Bed bug proof covers should be constructed so that no bed bug can get out, no bed bug can get in, and the ones that are trapped in by the cover can’t feed through the fabric. Most dust mite covers that are marketed for bed bugs don’t meet this criteria.  Ask if there are lab certifications for the covers you buy.  A reputable dealer will have no problem with this request.  We are so proud of our bed bug cover lab reports, we posted them on the web for everyone to see!  Read lab results here.
I surely hope that you never need to put any of this information to use in your home.
Til Next Time!


The Allergy Store

©Copyright 1996-2013  AllergyStore.com™ All Rights Reserved