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Skin rash caused by dust mites

Updated February 21, 2019

Skin rashes as a reaction to dust mite allergies are one of many common allergies that people suffer. Dust mites are microscopic bugs that live virtually anywhere that dirt resides. They are found mainly in homes residing in pillows, couches, bedding and mattresses. They eat human and animal dander (dead skin), which is found on surfaces and linen. Dust mites are about 1/100th of an inch, which makes them smaller than a period mark.

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Skin rashes that form when in contact with dust mites are caused by allergens. These rashes are triggered by your immune system's reaction to certain dust mite protein. In addition to this reaction, the lining in the nasal passages become inflamed. This inflammation can also lead to sneezing, coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. This reaction is called allergic rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis may also be caused by other allergens such as dust, dander and pollen.


Skin rashes associated with dust mites are red and itchy and consist of tiny bumps. These small bumps may sometimes join to cause hives. Other symptoms associated with exposure to dust mites are sneezing, runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, itchy nose, postnasal drip, cough, facial pain, frequent awakening and puffy eyes. People with asthma may experience difficulty breathing, chest tightness or pain, whistling sound when breathing and trouble sleeping.


Your physician may suspect you have an allergy to dust mites based on the symptoms you are having and by a physical examination of your nasal passage. In addition, he may perform a skin allergy test. In this test, he will put tiny drops of allergen extracts onto your skin, by pricking it. These drops are normally administered on the upper back or forearm. The drops will be left for 15 minutes, or until a reaction is visible. If you have dust mite allergies, you will develop an itchy, red rash. The only side effect of the test is itchy, red skin, which will return to normal within 30 minutes. Other tests that may be performed are blood tests and lung functioning tests.


Skin rashes caused by dust mites may be treated by the use of antihistamines. Antihistamines work by reducing a chemical released in your body that causes the allergic reaction. They work to stop itching, sneezing and your nose form running. The most commonly prescribed ones are Allegra tablets and Clarinex tablets. These are given by prescription only. Over the counter antihistamines include benadryl, Zyrtec and Claritin.

Special Consideration

If you develop a rash that you think may be due to an allergy, contact your physician. Do not diagnose yourself as the symptoms associated with dust mite allergies can also be symptoms of more serious conditions.

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About the Author

April Khan

April Khan is a medical journalist who began writing in 2005. She has contributed to publications such as "BBC Focus." In 2012, Khan received her Doctor of Public Health from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She also holds an Associate of Arts from the Art Institute of Dallas and a Master of Science in international health from University College London.

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