This time of year usually means a little more time spent indoors. Coincidentally, you might notice that you're a little ... itchier ... than normal. While other seasonal allergies could be to blame, there might also be a few irritants hanging out in your home that you didn't even expect. Here's just a few that could be responsible.
Though we all love their soothing glow, scented candles can release the . These compounds have been found to raise the risk of an asthma attack. Additionally, (volatile organic compounds) that can trigger itchy eyes and respiratory tract irritation. So if you tear up when you're around that "Fresh Rose" candle, you might want to retire it for good.
Air fresheners can also trigger reactions ranging from itchiness to asthma attacks. Like scented candles, the culprit .
You never sleep alone when you've got a pillow, mattress or comforter. That's because these items . If you're allergic to these microscopic critters, you might experience dry, itchy, scaly patches all over your body. Regularly washing your linens and pillows in hot water (140 degrees is recommended) and buying mite-proof covers for pillows and mattresses can help reduce the chance of a reaction.
Like pillows and bedding, soft toys can make fine homes for dust mites. If your little ones starts scratching whenever he cuddle his bears, it might be time to give those teddies a bath in super-hot water.
So, you found a great deal on new towels. They're a little stiff, but you figure they'll soften with time. After drying off with the fresh set, you are alarmed to find yourself in a very itchy situation. Turns out that your already-dry winter skin can become , and now you're paying the price. The solution? Donate them (animal shelters are often in need of towels) and treat yourself to a softer, gentler set.
It's heartbreaking when you're allergic to your best friends, but it's a surprisingly common problem among pet lovers. Pet dander (which affects both cats and dogs) is a substance on the skin that can quickly become airborne, causing a world of itching, wheezing and other not-so-fun symptoms. To reduce the effect of pet dander, groom your pets outside of the home, change your air filters and vacuum frequently. You might also want to keep pets out of your bedroom, to limit your exposure.
Allergies to leather aren't unheard of, but if you're feeling itchy after sitting on your sofa, you might instead be , a substance used to keep mold from growing on leather furnishings. Reactions to dimethyl fumarate, which was named the "Contact Allergen Of The Year" in 2011 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society, can include itchy rashes anywhere your skin has touched the sofa.
You count on your vac to get rid of allergens, but using it can kick up a large amount of dust, triggering allergies. (Same goes for dusting and sweeping.) If you can't replace your carpet, make sure to wear a to see if your vac has a HEPA filter. If it doesn't, it's time to invest in a new vacuum.
You know that many houseplants can clean the air and even boost your mood, but you might not know that there are a few conditions where even the "cleanest" variety of plants can cause you serious discomfort. It's all thanks to mold! (along with terrariums) can hold onto moisture, often resulting in mold growth. If you're allergic, you could experience itching, wheezing and other effects.