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Have you ever thought you might be suffering from eczema due to dust mite allergy symptoms? Learn all about the dreaded dust mite allergy rash and how dust mites and eczema can be related!
By Stevie Simpson (see bio below)
Eczema can be a frustrating and embarrassing problem. If you experience this issue, it can seriously affect your physical comfort on a daily basis as well as your self-confidence.
At this stage, there is no cure for eczema, which means that it needs to be controlled. And the best way to control this issue is by reducing or eliminating irritants like dust mite allergens.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a non-contagious condition that causes patches of skin to become red, cracked, inflamed, itchy and rough. It can affect the skin on any part of the body but is particularly common on the face, hands and feet, as well as the insides of the elbows, backs of the knees, groin and on the buttocks.
Eczema affects around 10-20 percent of people in the U.S. and there are several different types. The most common type is known as atopic dermatitis and involves the immune system.
There is no known single cause of eczema but there are certain triggers that can cause an outbreak. These include:
- Foods such as nuts and dairy.
- Irritants such as soap and detergents.
- Temperature variations.
- Allergens such as pollens and dust mites.
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These are all common triggers. However, one of the least understood and hardest to control is the dust mite allergy.
What are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are tiny bugs that usually live in house dust. They’re actually arthropods, part of the same group as spiders, and are less than a third of a millimeter in length.
These bugs prefer humid areas and no matter how clean your house is or what cleaning products you use, you can’t eliminate them from your home.
Dust mites are typically harmless, but when you’re allergic to them they can cause symptoms such as sneezing and other hay fever symptoms. Dust mite allergy symptoms can also manifest into eczema.
How Dust Mites Trigger Eczema
It isn’t completely understood how dust mites and eczema might be related; however, allergies and eczema are very closely connected. Most people who have eczema also have allergies or develop them over time. However, it isn’t known if eczema causes allergies or vice versa.
Researchers are still exploring this link between eczema and allergies. However, it seems that there’s a connection to a gene called filaggrin. This is a protein that keeps the skin moist.
People with eczema typically don’t make enough of this protein, which causes their skin to become dry and itchy. This deficit also makes the skin more porous, which lets in dust and other allergens and may be responsible for other allergy symptoms.
Do you Have a Dust Mite Allergy Rash?
The best way to determine if you suffer from a dust mite allergy rash is to get professionally tested. These tests are fairly quick and simple and usually involve either skin prick tests or patch allergy testing.
If you find yourself experiencing frequent eczema flare-ups, then getting tested for allergies is one of the most effective ways to start managing your condition. It will allow you to identify exactly what’s causing the reaction rather than guessing, and then you can work on eliminating or reducing your exposure to your allergens.
How to Control Dust Mite Reactions
If you experience dust mite allergy symptoms or a dust mite allergy rash, then there are several things you can do to improve your health and cut down on outbreaks.
Some of the most effective strategies are:
- Use dust mite proof covers to protect your mattress and pillows. (Learn more about eczema sheets and bedding.)
- Replace carpets with hard floors if possible.
- Where possible, adjust your central air to keep the humidity below 45 percent to discourage dust mite growth.
- Vacuum carpets regularly.
- Wash your sheets and pillowcases in hot water weekly.
- Make sure to clean blinds and curtains regularly.
However, if none of these strategies work, then it might be time to consider immunotherapy. This is not typically recommended to directly treat eczema, but if you have dust mite allergy symptoms then this treatment might help to calm your immune system and reduce eczema outbreaks.
What is Immunotherapy for Dust Mite Allergy Symptoms?
Immunotherapy is the closest thing to a modern-day cure for allergies and associated eczema. It’s used as a last resort when simpler treatments have failed, and basically works on the idea of desensitization. The treatment involves gradually increasing exposure to the allergen over a period of years.
For example, if you’re experiencing dust mite allergy symptoms, you will be exposed to very low amounts of this allergen. Over time, this will allow your body to develop immunity so that dust mites no longer cause an allergic reaction in your body. This will naturally reduce your eczema outbreaks.
This treatment is particularly helpful if your reactions are severe or if the allergen is difficult to avoid. And because dust mites are impossible to completely eliminate from your home environment, they definitely fall into this category.
The best recommendation: If you’re struggling with a dust mite allergy rash, talk to an expert today. This is the best way to get control of your condition and keep your skin as healthy as possible.
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Bio: Stevie Simpson is a health blogger living in Sydney, Australia. She’s particularly passionate about treating skin allergies, general skin conditions and cosmetic medicine. She drinks way too much caffeine & loves playing with her pet corgi, Bonnie!