Dust mites are unwanted guests that are present in almost every household. The problem with these arachnids is that they are too small to be spotted with the naked eye, which makes them difficult to detect and to eliminate.
Dust mites are usually found in the sheets, covers, blankets, pillows, stuffed toys, drapes, carpets, upholsteries and similar warm and cozy environments. They feed on organic detritus, like dead skin cells.
Since they are so small, their bite is not really a bite, and it would not pose a problem if they were not causing an allergic reaction.
Symptoms of dust mite bites
The symptoms of dust mite bites are similar to mosquito bites. When this tiny bug bites, it releases a substance that causes an allergic reaction, because the human body recognizes it as a harmful intruder, much like a virus or bacteria. It releases antibodies to fight the intruder, which results in an allergic reaction. This causes skin irritation, redness and itching at the bite site. Dust mite bites can trigger other allergic reactions, like sneezing, wheezing, runny nose, watery eyes and cough, while long-term exposure to dust mites potentially leads to asthma, eczema and atopic dermatitis.
Treatment for dust mite bites
Skin irritation can be relieved by applying topical Hydrocortisone ointments. They are designed for allergic skin reactions and reduce inflammation, itching and redness.
Topical antihistamines are also suitable for this kind of allergy, and they are available over the counter.
In case of severe allergic reactions, oral medications are also available. However, it is best to consult a doctor before taking any medications at all.
Prevention of dust mite bites
The best way to fight dust mites is to detect their presence and to exterminate them. Symptoms can be treated, but it can be frustrating to wake up every morning with red, itchy spots all over the body.
Dust mite detection kits are available in specialized stores and supermarkets. Their purpose is to determine if the allergy is indeed caused by dust mites.
In case the house is infested with dust mites, the first step is to clean it thoroughly. All sheets, covers, blankets and curtains should be washed with a strong detergent and in hot water. Carpets and upholstery should be vacuumed thoroughly. Feather-filled pillows should be replaced with synthetic ones.
Dust mites love humid and warm environments, so it is recommended to reduce the level of humidity in the house. Air conditioning, de-humidifiers and special filters can be very useful for this.
Dust mites can be very resistant and hard to eliminate, so it is important to be patient and not to give up after the first failed attempt.