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Eczema Irritants-House Dust Mite

Dust Mite InsectsHouse dust mite is a tiny insect that occurs in every home. You cannot see it without a microscope. It mainly lives in bedrooms and mattresses as part of the dust.

Many people with eczema are allergic to house dust mite. However, in general, it is not usually advised to do anything about house dust mite. This is because:

  • The research studies that have looked into whether reducing house dust mite is helpful have not been conclusive. There is some evidence that reducing house dust mite may help but further research is really needed to confirm this.
  • It is impossible to clear house dust mite completely from a home and it is hard work to greatly reduce their number to a level which may be of benefit.
  • Treatment with other methods such as emollients and short courses of topical steroids usually works well. Therefore, the effort of trying to eliminate house dust mite is not usually warranted.

A recent guideline from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) - referenced at the end of this leaflet - states: "There are conflicting data on the effectiveness of using house dust mite avoidance strategies in the management of childhood atopic eczema. Many of the currently suggested techniques are time-consuming and expensive for parents/carers and it is important to establish their value."

However, some people with severe eczema which is difficult to control with the usual treatments try to clear house dust mite from their home as much as possible. Therefore, for the sake of completeness, the following gives an idea of how to clear house dust mite. But it has to be stressed, it is hard work, it is not usually recommended and the value of this is not clear.

To greatly reduce the numbers of house dust mite:

  • Remove carpets (where possible) from the bedroom. Avoid soft furnishing in the bedroom.
  • Use dust-tight ('mite-proof') covers for any mattress, duvet and pillow (a good bed retailer will be able to advise). This can be left in place for several months. The usual covers can be put on top of the special covers but should be washed every 1-2 weeks at 60°C.
  • Use feather rather than synthetic pillows (this is the opposite to what used to be thought).
  • Wet-dust the bedroom furniture every 1-2 weeks. Some people advise dusting even more frequently - even daily dusting.
  • Vacuum or clean the bedroom floor regularly. Use a vacuum cleaner with a good filter (this removes the mite and prevents small particles coming out through the vacuum exhaust).
  • Vacuum the mattress once a week.
  • Regularly ventilate the bedroom (open the door and a window for a while on most days).
  • Keep soft toys to a minimum. Put them in the freezer in a plastic bag for 24 hours now and again. This kills any mites on them. If the toys are washable, wash them at 60°C after they have been in the freezer.
  • Try to keep humidity low (for example, do not dry washing on the radiator). An electric blanket decreases humidity in the bed which helps to keep mite numbers down in a mattress.
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Views: 1348 | Added by: myrceastr | Tags: eczema irritants, ECZeczema and dust mite insect, eczema treatments, eczema house triggers | Rating: 2.0/1
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