My son was about to be put into hospital for his severe eczema but doing all these things below as well as the RPAH diet has seen his eczema almost disappear, and his rhinitis as well. One thing I've noticed is that if we relax the diet, his skin goes dry and scaly, and then next thing is the inflammation and full blown eczema. So I believe that, in our situation at least, the condition of the gut (what you eat) affects the function of the skin (goes dry and scaly), and then the environmental allergen can get in and cause the inflammation. This goes for rhinitis as well.

There are a number of things to limit your exposure to dustmite, but you can't get rid of them (unless you live in the desert!).  It's important to remind yourself of that because, like the food situation, it can send you a bit bonkers trying to do everything, all of the time. However there is a lot you can do and it works.

Dustmites like warm moist dark places and they live off dead skin cells and mould. So your bed is the first place to start. Get good quality mite covers (see Melbourne supplier below recommended by allergists). Cover the mattress ( and the base if it's not timber) with the mite proof covers, cover your pillow as well and doona/quilt. You'll need to wash the covers fortnightly, and the rest of the bedding (sheets) weekly. Hot wash 60°C will kill the mites, but it's the mite poos that actually cause the allergy so a long cycle in the machine will wash the droppings away.

Get rid of carpets, wash curtains regularly. Eucalyptus will also kill mites, so use the Bosistos range of cleaning products, sprays and detergents, which work well but limit exposure because they aren’t failsafe. Anything that can't be hot washed can but put a plastic bag and into the freezer overnight to kill mites, then washed on gentle cycle next day to remove the droppings (I do this with soft toys and delicate fabrics). A de-humidifier is an option as mites need humidity to survive. So if the constant washing gets you down, that is something to think about.

Check out helpful and  – Diana from failsafeeczema group.

See also story [1012] Eczema exacerbated by dust mite allergy (March 2006)