The Dusty Season

Dust is the general name for minute solid particles of matter.  Dust occurs in two main forms- Atmospheric dust and Domestic dust.  It is the domestic dust  that commonly causes flare-ups for eczema sufferers.

It’s spring, so dust in the house and dust in the air (in the form of pollen)are very common.  It’s a common time for allergies to flare up and the scratching of eczema to begin.

Where there’s dust, there’s dust mites

We have known of the dangers of dust mite for those who suffer from allergies for longer than the word allergies has been around.  And they are difficult to avoid.

Dust mites are everywhere

Dust mites live off organic debris and their preferred diet is skin cells.  Dust mite can therefore be found wherever humans are.  They are most abundant where dead human skin cells are most plentiful – bedding, rugs, upholstered furniture.  They thrive in warm moist environments.

Dust mites are resilient

Dust mites are also very resilient.  They can survive in warm soapy water and can withstand freezing temperatures for up to 5 hours.  Bedding and furnishings should therefore be laundered regularly in the hottest water possible and then put through the hottest cycle of a clothes dryer.

It is best to replace children’s soft plush covered toys with toys that have smooth plastic bodies and washable clothes.  If children have special toys they just can’t part with they should be washed 2 –3 times a week in very hot water to kill the dust mite or placed in a plastic bag and put in the freezer overnight.  The next morning they can be washed in warm water to remove the dead mites.

Although regular vacuuming will not totally rid a room of mites it will remove up to 70% of them.  However they will be back to their original numbers within a week.  Regular vacuuming is therefore essential.

The most effective way to keep your environment as dust mite free as possible is to vacuum regularly, launder in hot water regularly and replace what ever can’t be laundered with that which can be laundered easily in hot water.

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