Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, results in skin inflammation. When it comes to triggering your eczema, apart from the other triggers, your pets may hit the top of the list as well. You or your child may encounter certain eczema symptoms at certain times during the year. These may be due to the environmental changes i.e both external or internal. Do you feel itchy after you have petted your fluffy? Do you feel like scratching your skin may provide you relief? If you have answered “yes” to any of the questions above, then you must be allergic to the pets.
What is Pet Allergy?
Allergies to furry pets can be commonly seen in the people who have other allergies like asthma, stuffy nose etc. In the USA, 3 out of 10 people approximately have allergic reactions to pets. To be very clear not every animal will trigger your eczema but unfortunately below mentioned pets can aggravate the skin condition. These may include:
It is important to keep track of how your body may react during the periods of exposure as compared to the times of isolation from the pets.
What are the symptoms of Pet Allergy?
- red, itchy eyes
- stuffy, running nose
- wheezing, coughing
- rashes or hives
- itchy skin
- redness of skin
What are pet allergens?
Many people are of the assumption that animal hair may trigger eczema and be the main for cause for skin inflammation. But to your surprise, there may be many factors other than hair that may cause pet allergy. These include:
Proteins: Proteins in the urine, stool and saliva of the animals are considered as allergens. These spread over the hair of animals and are usually known to cause allergic reactions and eczema in humans. It can be spreaded into the air and around the home with their skin cells.
Dander: Dander is considered as the natural shedding of skin cells in animals. These can be easily spread all around the home and surrounding areas as they are lightweight and can attach to the animal’s hair. Power dander that coats the feathers of particular birds may also trigger allergic reaction and due to the nature of birds movements those can be easily driven into the air.
Sebaceous glands: The glands are present in the skin of the animals and are generally responsible for secreting an oily sebum that keeps the skin waterproofed and hydrated. This combines with the dust particles, other allergens and becomes airborne.
How to manage and treat pet allergy?
If you are suffering from pet allergy, take some serious actions to control the symptoms and triggers of eczema. Few simple steps can surely help you
- Never let your pets sleep on your bed. Keep them away from your bedrooms
- Minimize exposure to pets directly
- Carpets usually trap dander so ensure to keep floors bare
- Clean your pet’s bed as that are the main dander spots
- Use vacuum with HEPA filter. Vacuum weekly
- Bathe your pets regularly
- Clear away the clutter, the skin shed by the pets that may trigger skin inflammation
- Cover vents with a cheesecloth as they can trap the allergens before they’re spread in the air
- Have someone to brush your pets outside the homes to remove dander
- Prepare with the medication
- Change your clothes after prolonged exposure with your pets
- Talk to your doctor
- Avoid hugging or kissing your pets
- Wash your hands properly to remove germs after spending time with your pets