Our son’s dermatitis always made us extra cautious, especially when it came to spotting the allergens in the environment. But to our folly, we ignored one extremely common allergen – the dust mites.
One day I casually glanced at my bedroom side table and noticed minute white specs all over the table. At first I thought someone must have dropped some powder or something, but was dumbfounded, as the white specs started moving. I opened my phone’s camera, focused on the specs, zoomed in and cringed; as they looked like tiny spiders with huge heads.
Dust mites actually belong to the spider family. They live in house dust and feed on the dead skin cells that people regularly shed. They mostly prefer humid climates. If you have humidifiers in your room then they might also be a reason for enough humidity for dust mites to thrive in. We use humidifier to keep our eczema prone kid’s dryness at bay. But that caused issues, as our bedroom got infested with dust mites. The humidifier definitely had a role to play. We now monitor the room humidity, making sure the balance is maintained.
People with dermatitis attract more dust mites, as they have a flakey skin that sheds on the bed and other surfaces, more than a normal skinned person; thus becoming a perfect food shelter for the mites.
My son has dust mites allergy and because of his dry flakey skin, he attracts more dust mites; hence triggering his immune system more – making his eczema even worse. It doesn’t only cause eczema to trigger, in fact his overzealous immune response causes the other symptoms associated with a dust mite allergy, such as sneezing and runny nose.
Bedding is the ideal breeding ground for dust mites. It’s usually the perfect temperature and humidity for them. Therefore, wash all bedding in hot water at least once a week. This includes sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and bed covers. Dry in a hot dryer or in natural sunlight during summer months. I give an extra spin, while adding vinegar to the laundry.
Moreover, beware of the dusty objects, whenever my child touches objects covered with dust, his immune system kicks in, and hence alleviating the symptoms.
Getting rid of dust mites is not complicated at all. It can be done with few extra steps and precautions. The essence of this post is that we are often getting symptoms like coughing, sore throat, skin rashes etc; without realizing the triggers. So next time consider dust mites to be part of the problem too.