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If you constantly struggle to find remedies for your eczema, asthma and allergies, a humidifier can help your dry nose as well as your dry skin. The cool, moist mist humidifies the air to keep skin and tissue hydrated.
There are so many humidifiers on the market that you might be wondering which one to purchase. In this article, we help you decipher the best features of humidifiers for eczema, asthma and allergies.
How Humidifiers Help Allergies and Asthma
Dry air actually makes allergies worse. As the dry air enters the nasal passages, it pulls moisture from the tissues and that further irritates the respiratory tract. The dry air can lead to more sinus infections because the body produces more mucus than is really necessary due to the dry air.
Using a humidifier adds moisture to the air and allows you to have the optimal moisture content in your air at home or at work.
When the nasal passages have more hydration, the body is able to move out allergens, bacteria and mold out of the nasal and respiratory tracts.
It’s tricky because while you don’t want the air dry, you also don’t want it to be too moist as this can cause mold allergies and mildew growth, which will only make allergies and asthma worse. The key is to have the perfect moisture content so that the body does not overproduce mucus.
Use of a humidifier can decrease runny noses, sore throats and coughing.
ILW Recommends: How to Control Asthma at Night
Humidifiers and Eczema
If you have eczema, you already know the condition is very difficult to treat and manage, particularly because there is no cure.
Fortunately, humidifiers for eczema can help.
Lots of people with eczema never think about using a humidifier but there are some definite benefits, particularly in winter when central heating really dries out the air. Because of this, the skin loses moisture constantly and that only worsens eczema.
Replacing the lost moisture in the air can definitely keep skin hydrated. Ideally, you want to try for a room moisture level of about 30 to 40 percent. Levels higher than that can cause mold to grow and dust mites to flourish.
Damp conditions only complicate eczema. High moisture levels also can cause the room to be too humid and uncomfortable, making it difficult to sleep.
Factors To Consider When Buying A Humidifier
Although you can use a humidifier for home or office use, here are some main factors to consider when making your purchase:
Size: Most importantly, you must buy the right size of humidifier. Are you using it for one room, or for the whole house? Perhaps you want a desktop version for your office.
Portability: Ease of mobility is also a factor. Many people opt for a portable unit to make it easy to move from room to room.
On the other hand, a whole-house humidifier is a much larger industrial type unit that can usually cover 1,500 square feet of space on average. These units have a large refillable tank that can hold several gallons of water. There are even units that can be integrated into your ducting system or into your home’s permanent water supply.
These units must be installed by an HVAC professional. They are more expensive, but you won’t need to worry about filling the tank every day or porting the unit room to room.
If you are looking for a desktop humidifier, there are many small tabletop models that are quiet and unobtrusive so as to not disturb your co-workers.
Temperature: Cool mist or warm mist – that is the question.
In a cool mist humidifier, the water is not heated, therefore the unit is just adding water vapor to the air. As such, the units are more economical to operate and they are also safer, particularly for small children, the elderly and pets.
Warm mist humidifiers use electricity to create steam; most units cool the steam before releasing it into the air. Boiling of the water also reduces bacteria. These units are generally called germ-free humidifiers.
Some cool mist or warm mist units even have built-in nanosilver or ultraviolet antimicrobial technology that zaps germs and mold spores that might be in the water. Although more expensive, they can be worth it in the long run if you have high sensitivities.
Monitoring: Humidity level control is important regardless of what type of humidifier you use. It is very important to monitor room humidity levels, which ideally should stay within 30 to 50 percent, so consider purchasing a humidifier that has a digital monitor built into the unit. Otherwise you will need to purchase a separate temperature/humidity monitor.
Maintenance: You definitely want to consider a unit that is easy to clean with little to no maintenance required.
Regardless of what type of unit you decide on, they all need regular cleaning to keep the unit free of microbes.
You may want to look for a dishwasher-safe model where the basin can just be popped into the dishwasher whenever you need it. Some of the newer models do come with the built-in anti-microbe technology mentioned above, so the water stays cleaner longer, meaning less frequent cleaning on your part.
However, these units do still require weekly cleaning.
Some humidifiers require filters so you might think about buying extra filters at the same time you purchase your unit, and make sure you always have a good supplier for filters down the road.
One tip: Clean any humidifier that has been sitting unused for a significant length of time, and always clean and thoroughly dry the humidifier before storing it.
We hope this article has been helpful in understanding the importance of humidifiers for eczema, asthma and allergies.
If you’re not interested in buying an air purifier, but looking to purify air, try creating a little indoor garden and introduce some plants known for their ability to
humidify the air.
Check out the best plants for re-humidifying the air.
ILW Recommends: Indoor Air Quality: 4 Ways to Breathe Easier
Bio: Stevie Simpson is a health blogger living in Sydney, Australia. She’s particularly passionate about skin allergies, general skin conditions and cosmetic medicine. She drinks way too much caffeine & loves playing with her pet corgi, Bonnie!
Laura is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.