Housekeeping Tips for Environmental Allergens

This started for my spouse’s dermatographism after testing positive to almost all environmental triggers (dust mite, pollen, mold, cat and dog, etc.). This may all be due to mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS). In real life my partner reacts to dust mite, some pollens, cats, and possibly mold.

No fragrance (soaps, shampoos, laundry detergent, lotion, cosmetics, etc.).

No harsh cleaners (vinegar, baking soda suffice for most jobs).

Hot wash and dry all sheets, pillow covers, blanket covers, etc. at least once every two weeks. Dust mite reproduce in a month.

Use a dust mite proof mattress cover.

On a side note, it may actually help to NOT make your bed. Dust mite thrive in moist, warm environments. Expose your bed to the cool and dry air. Hang blanket over headboard or something if possible.

No carpets, if possible.

Vacuum frequently (at least once a week) with a model that has hepa filters.

Ventilate. Ventilate. Ventilate. Keep everything dry.

Keep an eye out for any spots that tends to hold moisture for mold growth.

Treat with vinegar at first sight of any mold.

Be very careful about using chemical insecticide, try to find alternatives. Diatomaceous earth maybe?

Dermatographic Urticaria

What is it?

Also called “skin writing”, where friction (scratching or some other contact) causes red hives or raised skin.

Cause?

Likely an overabundance of histamine in the body. Some possibilities might be mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), environmental allergens, mild chronic food issues, high histamine foods, histamine releasing foods, or body does not break down histamine well due to lack of enzymes such as diamine oxidase?

Ways to control?

Aside from antihistamines, our allergist at the time recommended better control of environmental factors such as dust mite control and removing fragrance. Also to avoid tomatoes and berries (histamine releasing foods?).

What happened?

My partner’s dermatographism disappeared along with our diet experiments but at the same time we started better management for environmental allergens as well, so it is not clear what was the main culprit. Regardless this didn’t come back except for a brief return during travel when we had much more fermented foods and was in a dusty environment. So again, not sure which is the cause, or perhaps it is both.