There are many triggers that can cause a flare-up of Atopic eczema. The House Dust Mite is one such trigger. House Dust Mite lives in the dust found in human and animal habitation. Not everybody with Atopic eczema will be sensitive to the House Dust Mite, but more than 35% of Atopic eczema patients are sensitive to House Dust Mite. The Atopy Patch test can be used to test for House Dust Mite Allergy.
House Dust Mites feed on pollen, fungi, bacteria and most importantly on the skin flakes shed from humans and animals. These skin flakes concentrate in the creases of bedding and furniture. The number of skin flakes and House Dust Mites found in an area is proportional to the time humans and animals spend in that area. Bedding will therefore contain large numbers of House Dust Mites.
If you want to start a House Dust Mite elimination campaign the places to concentrate your efforts should therefore be those areas where the family spend most of their time.
Before describing the steps needed to contain the House Dust Mite population, please note that the elimination of House Dust Mite is still vastly less important than the regular application of moisturisers.
- Completely empty the room, just as if you were moving.
- Empty and clean all cupboards. If possible, store contents elsewhere and seal the cupboards.
- Remove carpeting.
- Replace curtains with metal of wooden blinds that are easy to clean
- Clean and scrub the woodwork and floors thoroughly to remove all traces of dust.
- Wipe wood, tile, or linoleum floors with water, wax, or oil.
- Cement any linoleum to the floor.
- Keep the doors and windows closed.
- Clean the room thoroughly and completely once a week.
- Clean floors, furniture, tops of doors, window frames and sills, etc., with a damp cloth.
- Carefully vacuum upholstery regularly. Use a special filter in the vacuum.
- Air the room thoroughly after cleaning
BEDS AND BEDDING
- Keep only one bed in the bedroom. Most importantly, wrap mattress in a zippered dust-proof or allergen-proof cover. Scrub beds outside the room. If you must have a second bed in the room, prepare it in the same manner.
- Use only washable materials on the bed. Sheets, blankets, and other bedclothes should be washed frequently in water that is at least 50 degrees Celsius. Lower temperatures will not kill dust mites. If you set your hot water temperature lower, wash items at a laundromat which uses high wash temperatures.
- Use a synthetic material for bedding. Avoid fuzzy wool blankets or feather- or wool-stuffed pillows.
FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS
- Go for the minimalist look on the room.
- Avoid upholstered furniture.
- Use only a wooden or metal chair that you can easily clean.
- Modern air conditioners can reduce the levels of house dust mite in the air.
- Keep toys that will accumulate dust out of the child’s bedroom.
- Avoid stuffed toys
- Use only washable toys of wood, rubber, metal, or plastic
- Store toys in a closed toy box or chest
- Keep all animals with fur or feathers out of the bedroom. If you are allergic to dust mites, you could also be allergic or develop an allergy to cats, dogs, or other animals.
These steps are extreme, but it is only by eliminating >90% of house dust mites in an area, that you obtain any benefit. If these measures does not help to reduce the severity of your Atopic Eczema, you are most likely not sensitive to House Dust Mite allergens.