Dry, itchy skin can be a problem any time of year. But for many people their skin problems flare up in the fall and winter and subside in the warmer months. Many things get the blame, such as low indoor humidity wearing more woolen garments and even bathing in hotter water. The real culprit might be hiding in your bedroom and lurking under your covers. It could be a dust mite allergy!

Dry Skin and Dust Mite AllergiesYour dry skin might be the result of asthma or allergies. If this is the case you can find relief in something as simple as a zippered dust mite proof cover for your mattress and pillow.

During the cooler months, our homes are more tightly closed. This means there is less fresh air coming into the house. Unless you are running HEPA air cleaners or other air purifiers, the same allergy-inducing particles of dust, animal dander, mold, and dust mites simply re-circulate.

 

In addition, if your allergy is to the dust mite (the most common household allergen in the United States) you are exposed to these microscopic creatures each and every time you go to bed. These non-biting insect like creatures feed on shed human skin cells. Their bodies and feces contain a protein (der F1) that causes a variety of allergic reactions when these particles are inhaled. Symptoms can be sneezing, itchy watery eyes, coughing, asthma, hives, or even dry skin or eczema. Unfortunately, if your allergy symptoms present as dry or itchy skin then the excessive flaking and peeling only provides a greater food source for the mites. This sets up a terrible cycle of inhaling particles from the mites that makes your skin dry so you shed more skin so the mites eat more and produce more feces which in turn causes your skin to become drier so you shed more skin cells.

Many people run indoor humidifiers to counter the drying effects of the air heated to keep their homes warm. Whether you use a cool or warm mist humidifier, you are adding moisture to the air. That is the purpose and function of a humidifier. While this might bring some relief to your respiratory system, if your dry skin is caused by dust mite allergy it could actually make your symptoms worse. That is because dust mites thrive in humid environments. So as you increase humidity to make yourself more comfortable, you are making the environment much more comfortable for the dust mites as well. Catch 22. A comfortable dust mite is going to reproduce and increase the dust mite population.

In order to reduce your symptoms, you must reduce your exposure to the dust mite particles. This is easily accomplished with the use of a zippered dust mite cover for your mattress and pillow. These dust mite covers are especially designed to trap all of the mite body parts and feces in your mattress and pillow. If your mattress and pillow are not properly protected, each time you move on your bed in your sleep you will send a cloud of these microscopic allergy causing into the air. Once the particles are airborne, you will inhale them starting the allergic reaction. If your skin becomes dry and flaky as a result, then you will scratch and simply provide more food to the dust mites in your mattress and pillow. More food means more mites, which means more itching and dry skin.

Quality dust mite covers will have double sewn or bound seams and strong zippers. Avoid plastic or vinyl covers except for the box springs. While they will provide protection at a low cost, they are easily ripped or torn and do not provide a comfortable sleeping environment. If you are looking for relief on a tight budget, look for a fabric that is laminated to an allergy-proof membrane. These types of covers will provide relief similar to a plastic cover, but are cooler and more comfortable because the top side of the cover is fabric. For the most complete and comfortable protection, look for a microweave fabric. There are several microweave fabrics available from allergy niche retailers. These allergy stores specialize in allergy and asthma control products and will be your best source for durable, quality covers.

Once you have a dust mite cover on your mattress and pillow it is important to wash your other bed linens weekly in hot water. This will get rid of any accumulation of allergy particles that might build up on top of your zippered dust mite proof covers.

In addition, apply your moisturizer immediately after bathing while skin is still damp. Apply your moisturizer to your body in segments starting with your feet and ending with your face. Only put as much in your hand as you need to apply to one area. For example, start with your toes and feet then work to your ankles, the calf, knees and thigh. Also, look on the ingredient list of your moisturizer. Avoid products with ingredients including the word “paraben” or formaldehyde. These ingredients can also cause your skin to be dry. Also be sure to drink plenty of water. Good hydration starts on the inside.


 

Wishing you the best of health

 

 

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