Allergy to Dust Mites: Symptoms, Treatment, What To Do?

Allergy to dust mites

Dust mites are responsible for about 45% of allergies: itching, itchy eyes, cough, hives. Symptoms often appear when the heating is turned on again. What are the characteristic signs of this allergy? What to do? Desensitization? Practical advice.


  • Figures
  • Symptoms
  • Anti-dust mite treatment
  • Anti-dust mites
  • Clean the house
  • Vacuum
  • Linen
  • Chamber temperature
  • Anti-dust mite cover
  • Which mattress?
  • Essential oils
  • Desensitization
  • Cross allergy
  • Allergy and asthma
  • Allergy and scabies

The mites, cousins of the family of spiders (arachnids), are not visible to the naked eye. They have eight legs (4 pairs), provided on their last segment of hair and claws. They measure from 0.2 to 0.4 mm in length and only live for 2 or 3 months but reproduce very quickly as soon as they find favorable hygrometry conditions between 65 and 80% humidity and a temperature between 20 and 30 degrees. Mattress, sofa, cheese Where can you find dust mites?

All homes, even the cleanest, are home to dust mites. They are found in bedding, curtains, soft toys, sofas, rugs, carpets. Unlike household mites present in house dust, storage mites in barns, barns, attics, and warehouses feed primarily on flour, grains, or cereal flakes. Acarus Siro is found in the rind of some cheeses. These mites cause the same types of symptoms as house mites.

Figures on dust mites

There are more than 50,000 varieties of mites; the most common in house dust are dermatophagoides pteronissimus and dermatophagoides flour, practically absent above 1,800 meters altitude. They feed on human dander, debris of skin, pieces of hair, body hair, and nails. One gram of dust can therefore contain around 2,000 to 10,000 mites. The presence of dust mites does not necessarily mean poor home maintenance. For example, a mattress can have 2 million dust mites.

Several thousand mites (around 4000) can be found under each of our steps. They consume the fifty million skin scales released per night during sleep. A female lays 20 to 80 eggs that become adults after three months, causing the mites to reproduce at an incredible rate. A quantity of 0.25 grams of dander feeds several million mites for three months. A rate of 2 milligrams of mites per gram of dust can sensitize an allergic person, and 10 mg per gram of dust can cause an asthma attack.

Allergy to Dust Mites

Symptoms: pimples, itchy eyes, fatigue, cough.

Dust mites are responsible for half of the allergic manifestations. It is the debris of dead mites and their droppings that cause allergies. In a room with 85% humidity, the dust mites consume five times more food and produce five times more allergenic excreta.

· Their inhalation is responsible for respiratory manifestations such as rhinitis, conjunctivitis, or asthma and its equivalents (dry cough, repeated bronchitis …).

· Their contact with the skin causes eczema pimples (also called atopic dermatitis).

· Symptoms caused by dust mites are most intense in the fall and last into winter when apartments are less ventilated and more heated.

Mites: size, photo, definition, bed, mattress, bite

Dust mites are everywhere, even in the cleanest homes. While some are prone to sting, others can cause allergies. How to identify and recognize a sting? What are the symptoms and treatments? Photos, remedies, and advice from infectious disease specialist Stéphane Gayet.

House dust mite allergy: what to do? What treatment? Use acaricides (anti-mites)

the acaricide chemicals can destroy the eggs and larvae of mites and sometimes even molds which are an essential food source for mites. They are available in the form of an aerosol, a powder, a foam, or a liquid to put in a suitable sprayer, sold in pharmacies or directly by laboratories dealing with anti-allergic products. The allergic or asthmatic person should not apply because the product can cause a crisis due to its irritant properties. Some acaricide bombs are fitted with a valve allowing the automatic release of the product into the room. It is recommended to treat all the places of predilection of mites,


Anti-mite product: cover, mattress, natural, how to treat your bed?

Involved in 50% of allergic symptoms, dust mites are challenging to eradicate. While many products promise to make, they disappear; which ones are effective? Are they dangerous for health? Update with Dr. Delphine Prince, allergist, expert member of ARCAA. 

 Certain products sold outside the medical circuit can have an acaricidal action without killing the eggs and larvae. It is also not recommended to use an acaricide sold in a horticultural store used only to treat plants. Do not hesitate to ask your pharmacist for advice. AFPRAL, the French Association for preventing allergies, recommends the anti-mites Sanytol “ideal fabrics,” which eliminates 100% of mites. House cleaning

To prevent the proliferation of mites, dust should be removed once or twice a week with a damp cloth. It is recommended that you vacuum carpeted surfaces once or twice a week, especially under the bed. Rugs should be brushed and shaken outside the room. Spray dust removers and detergents which can aggravate allergic manifestations are not recommended. Tiles, parquet, and furniture are preferably cleaned with a damp cloth or mop. Avoid the use of a feather duster because the mites will then disperse in the room. Finally, the room must be ventilated daily in winter and about 30 to 60 minutes each day in summer.

Vacuum regularly

The vacuum cleaner should be passed two to three times a week. It must be ensured that it is equipped with a HEPA filter, high efficiency for allergenic particles, allowing fewer dust mites to be released into the room. A good vacuum should last 30 to 40 minutes to eliminate 20% of dust mite allergens. Using a double vacuum bag can be effective. The room should be ventilated after vacuuming. AFPRAL recommends the Nilfsik Extreme vacuum cleaner because its filtration level is very high, thanks to a HEPA H14 filter and extremely tight gaskets and materials.

Regularly change household linen.

The sheets should be changed weekly and washed at the highest possible temperature, say 60 degrees. The pillows and eiderdowns should be ideally chosen in synthetic material to avoid feathers where dust mites may precipitate themselves. In some cases, the doctor may recommend an anti-dust mite, airtight cover completely enveloping the mattress. It is also preferable to avoid carpets, drapes, curtains, cushions, duvets, and blankets should be washed at 60 degrees each month. Clothing should be stored in a closet. To kill the mites there, the lint can be put in the freezer one night a month, wrapped in a plastic bag.

Do not overheat your room.

The room temperature should be at 18 or 19 degrees maximum with a humidity of 50 to 60% avoiding electric fan heaters (as in the whole house). Bunk beds should be avoided as the child in the lower bed inhales more mites from the upper mattress. A slatted base is preferable in the room of the allergic.

Use an anti-dust mite cover.

The anti-dust mite covers enveloping the mattress, pillows or duvets, reduce the contact of the allergic person with the dust mites. These covers are machine washable at 60 degrees. AFPRAL recommends Immunoctem, a body without chemical treatment.

Choosing a good mattress

The latex mattress natural or shape memory foam is the most suitable for allergy sufferers. Spring mattresses are to be avoided because of their internal cavities, which constitute incubators for mites. AFPRAL recommends Immuconfort by Immunoctem, a bed without chemical treatment tested by the Immuno-allergology laboratory of the Tenon Hospital (AP-HP), Paris, in 2006.

Use essential oils

Certain essential oils of lavender, lemon, lemon beds, rosemary, radiated eucalyptus, fennel, or wallflower help repel mites. They can be sprayed onto the surfaces to be treated with a spray containing a few drops of essential oils mixed with water or a conventional diffuser. Soaked cotton can also be placed in the vacuum cleaner bag.


The desensitization, also called immunotherapy, helps prevent symptoms and alter the natural course of allergic disease. By regularly administering to the allergic person one or more allergens to which he is sensitized, his immune system is gradually taught to tolerate it and reduce the symptoms. This treatment prescribed by a doctor specializing in allergy (allergist) requires the motivation of the person treated because it lasts several years (from 3 years minimum to 5 years maximum).

By altering the course of the allergic disease itself, desensitization tends to reduce the allergy symptoms and the need for symptomatic drugs. It is mainly intended for informed and motivated patients, adults and children, suffering from an allergy for which the allergen (s) in question have been formally identified and in whom symptomatic treatment is insufficient or poorly tolerated. The subcutaneous or sublingual route (the most frequent) and its effectiveness are observed from a few weeks to a few months after its implementation, lastingly improving desensitized patients.


Desensitization: how does it work, for which allergy?

Desensitization, also called “specific immunotherapy” or “vaccine therapy for allergies,” is the only treatment capable of modifying the natural course of certain allergic diseases. Which ones? Food allergies? To dust mites? What contraindications? Answers with Dr. Eric Thomas, skin allergist.


Cross allergy person allergic to dust mites may develop allergic reactions from eating shellfish, shrimp, or snails or coming into contact with cockroaches.

House dust mite allergy and asthma

Some people with asthma are susceptible to allergens produced by dust mites. Their presence causes an increase in the number of bronchial muscle cells in asthma patients, thereby reducing the diameter of their bronchi and worsening their asthma.

Allergy to dust mites and scabies

Human scabies is a contagious disease transmitted through direct human contact and caused by skin contamination with a mite called Sarcoptes scabiei hominis.


Scabies: recognize it, treat it, and avoid it

Scabies is a contagious disease caused by a parasite called a “sarcopte,” invisible to the naked eye. It requires specific treatment and necessary hygiene measures when it is detected.

Doctor’s advice: dust mites proliferate in hot, humid, and confined environments. It is impossible to avoid the presence of mites altogether, but specific controls make it possible to reduce their number. In case of asthma or eczema, and allergological assessment is necessary.

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