16 Jan Sensitive Skin – Is Your Bedroom Skin Safe?
When you have sensitive skin or skin conditions such as eczema, it’s important to keep on top of potential allergens and irritants. You may have your skincare routine well defined and under control, and are careful about the detergents and washing products that you use, but what about your bedroom?
Here are some practical and easy-to-implement ideas that could make your bedroom more skin friendly. People with eczema tend to have an over-reactive immune system, so when triggered by an allergen or irritant, the result is too much inflammation, which leads to red, itchy and painful skin.
Dust mites can be the bane of a bedroom, as they love soft furnishings. Your bedding is a really important area to focus on, especially as it will have close and long periods of contact with your skin whilst you’re sleeping, and you want it to be relaxing, rather than irritating.
Where possible, use breathable allergen-proof barrier covers on your mattress, duvet and pillows. Wash them regularly with skin-friendly washing products.
It’s worth keeping in mind that synthetic or foam pillows are less popular with dust mites and can also be washed at a hotter temperature.
Also remember, if your little ones take their soft toys into their beds at night for a cuddle, these too need to be hot washed regularly.
Stepping out of bed onto warm, snugly carpet underfoot may seem like a great idea, but not when you’ve got sensitive skin. As well as the fact that some flooring might irritate sensitive skin on your feet, sadly it’s a well-known fact that those dust mites love carpet too. Consider changing your flooring to a wooden or laminate one that is easier to keep clean and which dust mites can’t burrow into to make their home, thus reducing the risk of allergic skin reactions.
If you’re set on a carpet in the bedroom, know that the average bedroom carpet could be harbouring a shocking amount of dust mites and their droppings. This is even more likely if it’s old and has been in place a long time, if this is the case, consider replacing it with a new one and vacuuming it daily. Using a high filtration vacuum cleaner will help, also try and keep the room well ventilated during and after cleaning especially if you have asthma too.
If you really can’t bear the thought of losing the feeling of warmth underfoot in the winter, you could always consider the possibility of adding underfloor heating.
How can furniture help your skin? It’s not so much the piece of furniture itself, but the way you use it.
Rather than leaving clean clothing out on hangers, or in piles, pop it straight into a wardrobe or fold it up to store in a chest of drawers. It will keep it fresh, clean and skin-friendly.
Heating & Ventilation
Don’t forget to think about heating and ventilation issues. Yes, you want a cosy bedroom but don’t let it get too hot or your skin can become too dried out and itchy. Plus, dust mites thrive in heat too.
Try and keep your bedroom at the perfect temperature for sleeping, but also well ventilated. If you’re not keen on sleeping with a window open, try an air purifier, or at least try and have some air circulating during the day.
Try and keep your pets out of the bedroom. However much we love them, they are prone to carrying around fleas at some time or another, however careful we may be. If they shed hairs, and if they are allowed to sleep on the bed or on the bedroom carpet, they can leave behind their dead skin cells (dander) which can irritate your skin. If you do allow them in your bedroom, make sure that you regularly groom and clean them and vacuum the carpet frequently.
Keep your bedroom dust free, either by polishing or simply wiping down surfaces with a damp cloth. Eczema has many common triggers which may include things like seasonal pollen, dandruff and mould. These can settle on any surface so keeping these clean will reduce your risk.
Further helpful information can be found in our general tips and advice section.