Indoor allergens and irritants can
trigger the signs and symptoms of atopic
dermatitis, a type of eczema that occurs when there is a genetic
predisposition to atopic conditions, such as asthma and hay fever.
Taking some precautions around the home can help prevent flare-ups:
Control Dust Mites.
Some studies suggest that reducing dust mites can reduce symptoms;
other studies show no effect. For the most part, only children have
shown improvement when dust mites were controlled. This is what can
be done to control dust mites in a child’s room:
carpeting, rugs and blinds.
upholstered furniture. The only upholstered item in the bedroom
should be the bed.
spring and mattress in plastic zippered covers and wipe off covers
furnishings to a minimum. Only items made of wood, rubber, metal,
or plastic should be used. That goes for toys, too.
Use a pillow
and mattress pad made of Dacron®.
Clean the room
thoroughly each week. This should include wiping the floor,
furniture, tops of doors, window frames, and sills with a damp
cloth or oil mop.
Wash all bed
clothes and curtains at least once a week in water that is 130° F
Air the room
thoroughly after cleaning.
animals with fur or feathers out.
Keep home’s humidity level between 45% and 55%.
Dehumidifiers and humidifiers can keep humidity levels between 45%
and 55%. Use a hygrometer, a device that measures humidity, to
monitor the amount of moisture in the air. Hygrometers are available
in places where thermometers are sold, such as a local hardware
Avoid contact with pets
that have fur or feathers. When fur and feathers come into
contact with skin, they can cause a flare-up. Pet dander is another
common trigger. Be sure to keep pets with fur or feathers out of the
Avoid contact with harsh dish-washing products and household
cleaners. Look for natural alternatives to bleaches and
other cleaners that contain harsh chemicals. If you must use
such cleansers, wear protective gloves. Wearing cotton gloves under
rubber gloves can help prevent a flare-up if you have an allergy to
Cover up in
If plants or other things in the yard trigger a flare-up, wearing
gloves and long pants and sleeves may help prevent a flare-up.
AAD Guidelines of Care for Atopic Dermatitis.
July 26, 2003
to Create a Dust-free Bedroom,” National Institute of Allergy
and Infectious Diseases. National Institutes of Health. U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services. October 2001
All content solely
developed by the American Academy of Dermatology