Atopic dermatitis, more commonly known as eczema, is a condition characterized by red, itchy patches on the skin. While eczema is common in children, it can affect people at any age. Eczema is long-lasting and tends to flare up periodically. It is also often accompanied by symptoms of asthma and hay fever. There is no cure for eczema; however, one study uncovered that symptoms caused by dust mites can be managed with immunotherapy.
What the Research Shows
A research team at the University of São Paulo Riberião Preto Medical School in Brazil conducted a study on the effects of sublingual therapy (SLIT) using extracts of a common dust mite known as Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus.
Dust mites are microscopic arachnids that feed on dead skin cells, animal dander and other particles found in house dust. No matter how clean your house is, you’ll still have dust mites.
The study was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunotherapy: In Practice in February 2022. It was randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled, which is the gold standard method of assessing drug efficacy.
Data was collected from May 2018 to June 2020. For 18 months, a group of participants ages three and up received either a dust mite extract or placebo drop that was held under the tongue until dissolved. This occurred three days per week.
Researchers found statistically significant improvement in the group receiving drops containing dust mite extracts compared to the placebo group, indicating that SLIT is an effective add-on treatment for people with eczema who are sensitized to dust mites.
Tips for Managing Dust Mite Allergies
SLIT, though a great option for managing allergies long-term, takes time to work. In the meantime, there are ways you can reduce the number of dust mites in your home. We recommend following these tips:
- Wipe down surfaces with a damp, clean cloth to remove dust. Avoid dry dusting, as this can spread dust into the air.
- Use a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
- Vacuum upholstered furniture regularly.
- Invest in allergy-proof covers for mattresses, duvets and pillows.
- Regularly wash bedding in hot water at Gr8 Laundry.
- Choose wood or vinyl flooring instead of carpet.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call Texas ENT & Allergy today.