Eczema affects one in five children in the UK and one in 12 adults. Its causes are mostly genetic, but environment plays a large part. The word “eczema” comes from “ekzein”, the Greek word “to boil” which reflects the heat generated from the skin.
Eczema is characterised by red, itchy, cracked skin and can also flare-up as a reaction to a particular season, stress or household trigger which can be anything from house dust mites, animal dander and mould spores to chemicals in cleaning products.
Eczema can develop at any age and many of the people we help not only focus on skincare but also take positive steps in their homes to create a healthy environment.
Many of our customers with eczema tell us they benefit from installing a water filter to remove harsh chemicals, using an air purifier to reduce airborne allergens and only sleeping with dust mite proof bedding.
Protect yourself from Dust Mites and their Allergens
To celebrate National Eczema week The Healthy House will highlight 3 areas that can help reduce the effects of eczema:
- Dust mites and dust mite proof bedding - save 10% on dust mite proof barrier cases
- Clothing specifically designed for people with eczema
- Water filters to remove the chlorine that aggravates eczema.
This blog is written to address the effects that dust mites and their allergen can have on your skin and how to reduce those effects.
What makes dust mite so aggravating to people with Eczema?
"The healthy mite's, seemingly inefficient, digestive system creates up to 20 dung-pellets a day. The droppings, which are devoid of moisture and wrapped in a special film, contain scraps of food, debris and powerful enzymes. The enzymes, created by the mite, will continue to break down any remaining food particles: thus ensuring nourishment for the mite later. In other words they can eat their own droppings up to three times over before it is spent."
The result is that the film coating on the droppings stick to anything around including people's skin. When these dropping stick to tender skin the powerful enzymes that are used to break down shed skin will act as a major irritant to the sensitive skin of the eczema sufferer. * (ref: housedustmite.com)
Did you know that tonight you will be sharing your bed with about three million dust mites?
Follow our ten-point plan to free your bedroom of dust-mites
1. Strip your bed and clean and turn your mattress
The bed is a logical starting point. Give your mattress a thorough clean, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter or you could use a Raycop Anti-Allergy Bed Vac Rental to kill the dust mites and bacteria.
2. Wash your bed linen at 60 degrees C
Washing your bed linen at 60 degrees C at least once per week, and keeping duvets and pillows clean is key to keeping the dust mite population in your bedding to a minimum. Alternatively you can use FabriCleanse in your washing machine to kill the dust mite and denature allergens.
3. Clean furnishings, carpets and upholstered furniture
Don’t forget to tackle furnishings, soft toys and carpets in your cleaning regime – dust mites tend to lurk in their fibres. Keeping them clean and spraying an insecticide-free allergen spray like HomeCleanse will keep mite levels at a minimum AND fight mould, pet and pollen allergens at the same time.
4. Fit dust mite proof cases on your mattress, duvet and pillows
Our own brand of barrier cases are densely woven so that the mites and their faeces are unable to break through. This creates a physical barrier between you and the dust mite. It’s hard to believe that 10% of the weight of a two-year-old pillow is dust mite droppings! You can prevent such a colony breeding in your bed with Dust Mite Proof Pillow Cases and a Dust Mite Proof Mattress Case.
5. Use a dehumidifier, especially if you have an ensuite bathroom
Dust mites need moisture to survive. A dehumidifier can therefore be a wise investment, particularly if you have an ensuite bathroom and moisture flows through to your bedroom.
6. Ventilate your bed and bedroom
Pull back your duvet each morning and allow the bed to air. Plump up your pillows. Ventilate the room well during the day and maintain a good level of air-flow at night. This can help to reduce humidity and in turn, reduce the proliferation of dust mites.
7. Use an air purifier or air steriliser
An air purifier works by trapping particles in a filter, which can also deal with dust mite allergens depending on its efficiency. An air steriliser destroys the fungi that dust mites need to break down their food.
8. Clean hard flooring
If you’re severely allergic, hard flooring is preferable to carpets, but still needs to be kept clean as they can also trap moisture. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to clean the bedroom floor regularly (this removes the mite and prevents small particles coming out through the vacuum exhaust). Regularly ventilate the bedroom (open the door and a window for a while on most days).
9. Declutter, concentrating on the bedroom
Dust mites love clutter as it accumulates dust! Keep spaces clean and tidy and damp dust regularly, focusing particularly on the bedroom.
10. No pets in the bedroom
Never allow pets in your bedroom as they can transport dust mites into your sleeping space. They will also spread pet allergen, which can become airborne and also settles on furniture and furnishings.