Can Dust Mites Cause a Skin Rash?
Red bumps are all over your skin when you get up in the morning. Your skin is red, covered in bumps, and itches like crazy, but doesn’t look dry. Can dust mites cause a skin rash? Sure, you can get a rash from a dust mite, but it is probably not for the reason you may think.
You may think that dust mites bite, like mosquitoes or bed bugs, and that is what causes the skin rash. But that’s not the reason dust mites cause a skin rash.
A rash is a form of dermatitis caused by inhaling small bits of a protein that is produced by the tiny dust mite. The dust mite doesn’t have teeth and they don’t chew. They secrete a protein that digests their food (they live on shed skin cells). This protein is on the inside of the body and is excreted in their feces. This protein is the source of the number one household allergen, Der f1. Dust mites are so small you can’t see them, their feces are even smaller. But their feces and parts of their dead bodies are a major component of dust in your house.
When you inhale this dust, your body reacts to the protein and starts to produce inflammation. The inflammation can lead to many symptoms, and allergic dermatitis is one. To stop the rash, you must stop breathing the dust mite protein. That means you must stop the dust mite.
Control the dust mites and control the rash
Dust mites want to live where it is warm, dark, moist, and there is an abundance of food. Your bed is the perfect environment for dust mites. As you sleep, you shed skin; their primary diet. So, there’s lots of food in your bed. In addition, when you lay on your bed, you provide a source of warmth and moisture to the dust mites. Lastly, the sheets and covers help keep your bed dark, even in the daytime. As you can see, the bedroom is a haven for dust mites.
To stop the skin rash, you must stop the mites. First, cut off their food supply and trap them where they live. Put a special dust mite proof zippered mattress encasement on the bed. The specially made cover won’t let any more food through to the bed and it won’t let any dust mites out. Next, wash sheets every 7 days in water that is 140°F hot. That will kill the dust mites and wash them away. If you can’t get the water that hot, use special washing products like De-Mite or Allergen Wash that are made to remove dust mite allergens. Remove curtains and rugs from the bedroom or wash them once a week. Be sure to dust weekly with damp rags.
Yes, dust mites can cause a skin rash. But it’s not because they walk on you or bite you. It’s because they produce an allergy-causing protein that you inhale. The key is learning how to prevent dust mites and their allergens from becoming a problem.
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Research is emerging and treatments are improving though, and many people with eczema are able to live normal, healthy lives with few flare-ups. Managing the condition focuses on keeping the skin healed and preventing future breakouts, which can be done in five easy steps.