There are so many triggers which can affect our children’s eczema. Sometimes it’s really difficult to know what is triggering your child’s eczema and if a common known eczema trigger does actually affect your child. Nearly everything I have read about eczema triggers talks about controlling house dust mite as a way to help manage your child’s eczema. It is important to create a daily skincare routine with bath soaks that wash away triggers and create a protective barrier to block their effects. Making sure the skin is moisturised is also important! And I know in my case with both my children, house dust mite allergen does trigger their eczema so keeping dust to a minimum can help prevent nasty flareups!
What is house dust mite?
House dust mites are tiny, pale creatures that prefer to live in humid climates. They produce waste which we call house dust mite allergen and this is what can trigger and irritate eczema.
How does house dust mite trigger eczema?
When eczema skin comes into contact with house dust mite allergen it can increase skin inflammation, making eczema skin red and itchy.
How can I prevent house dust mite in my home?
Unfortunately there is no way of totally eliminating house dust mites from your home, but there are some things you can do to reduce how they affect your child’s eczema.
Washing bed sheets at least once a week using hot water (60C) will go some way to controlling house dust mite allergen. Washing blankets at least once a month will also help. Other bedding such as quilts and doonas are havens for house dust mite allergen because they trap heat, for the same reason think about replacing quilts and doonas with an extra blanket. Quilts and doonas trap heat which in turn heats up eczema skin. Eczema skin struggles to get rid of heat from the body and hot skin then becomes itchy skin.
There are also allergenic mattress and pillow casings which claim to help control house dust mite. These are something you might want to consider.
- Soft toys
Wash any soft toys weekly on the same hot cycle as the bed sheets. If your child sleeps with a special soft toy wash this one more regularly, and putting it in a plastic bag in the freezer for a few hours a day will kill the allergen but not the dust mite. If you can try to avoid your child playing with soft toys, choose wooden or plastic toys instead.
- House cleaning
Having house dust mite allergen doesn’t mean your house is unclean, but certain cleaning methods are more effective in controlling house dust mite allergen. Replace any feather dusters with electrostatic cloths and damp clean hard surfaces. Wash mats and rugs fortnightly and leave them in the sun to dry. Vacuuming every week including the seams of the mattress and all upholstered furniture, especially bed heads.
Stick to your eczema skin care maintenance routine
Still the most important part of managing your child’s eczema is sticking to your daily eczema skin care maintenance routine. Giving the skin as much moisture as possible is your child’s best defence against triggers which get through the skin barrier and enjoy making a home on dry skin.
This blog post was brought to you and your baby with love by Julia and the Itchy Baby Co. team. X
Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional.