The Link Between Dust Mites and Eczema

Dust mites are microscopic members of the arachnid family that have taken up residence in our homes Ė in a regular household, there can be more than one million dust mites at any given time. These mites and their droppings can cause allergic reactions in many people. And although these mites donít bite, they arenít easy to get rid of, as you canít just vacuum or dust them away.

There have been several scientific studies lately that deal with the relationship between dust mites and eczema. A recently completed study in South Korea has demonstrated that dust mite allergens cause eczema-damaged skin to heal less quickly than skin that was allowed to heal without the presence of dust mites.

In a laboratory setting, six healthy adults who donít suffer from eczema were used to examine the effects of dust mite extract on the skin. In order to mimic eczemaís effect on the bodyís skin, the researchers pulled tape off the study participantsí skin several times. The researchers then put dust mite extract onto their skin and waited to see how long it took for the skin to heal from the damage caused by the tape.

Researchers found that the study participants took longer to heal after being exposed to the dust mite extracts. After three hours, the effects from the extract were no longer visible, but it did take longer for the skin to begin to heal.

Next, an experimental drug was tested to see if it would block the dust mite extract from causing difficulties with the eczema. This drug, PAR-2, did help heal the skin faster, even in the presence of the dust mite extract.

Dust mites can greatly irritate eczema and hay fever for sufferers of these allergies. One of the best known methods for reducing the effects of dust mites on eczema is to cover your mattress in a Gortex cover, or one thatís specially made with holes smaller than 3 microns across. Another recent study showed that after six months, the dust mites that had accumulated in the test mattress was 98% less than in a control mattress with no cover.

While it took a few weeks for eczema sufferers to notice a difference in their eczema after starting to use the mattress cover, most people noticed a marked difference within just a couple of months. Test subjects also noticed a reduction in their problems with hay fever and asthma.

Purchasing one of these mattress covers is a low cost solution for those people who are allergic to dust mites. In order to reap the maximum benefits from a mattress covering, be sure to place duct tape over the zipper, to close off all access points to dust mites. Another solution to help reduce the effects of dust mite allergies is to remove the carpeting in your bedroom, giving the dust mites less of an area to live in.

It is possible to control dust mites in your household, but it can be a time consuming job. Removing your carpeting, adding mattress covers, and frequently washing your bedding in hot water can dramatically reduce the present of dust mites. Youíll also need to purchase new pillows frequently as well. In addition, there are covers available for your pillows that can greatly reduce the number of dust mites inside your pillow. With time and effort, you should see a reduction in your allergies, eczema, hay fever and asthma.