Mold allergy is caused when you are exposed to mold and the mycotoxins react with your immune system. It is primarily caused by exposure either through spores or through intake by some other means for example food.
In either case, if your environment has just about enough mold growing somewhere, chances are you have a mold allergy. Different mold have a different impact on your body for that you must have basic knowledge about mold types, their effects, so you can judge them by their colors.
Mold Allergy Rash
Mold rash is a very common consequence of mold allergy. This rash is caused when the skin is exposed to spores and the immune system reacts against these spores.
Therefore, mold rash is very common when it comes to exposure to molds. However, the skin is not the only way for the immune system to react.
Mold spores may be ingested through the breathing cavities as well. When this happens, the immune system detects foreign invasion inside the body.
The immune system tries to get rid of these foreign bodies and causes the person to sneeze, cough or by developing rashes on the skin.
This is a natural way of the immune system telling the body about foreign particles in the system.
The body sets up antibodies to fight against disease and more the antibodies in response to the mold, the more severe will be the rash against the mold.
Mold rash is red in color and is composed of tiny bumps. These bumps are severely itchy, and the rash can increase in case of an increase of exposure to mold spores.
The thing about this rash is that it can get infected if not take care of in time. If you itch the rash too much, it may break the skin as it is already weak on that point and this can cause an infection in no time.
If your rash gets more painful, there is more redness, you feel the surface of the rash to be warmer or there is some kind of discharge from the bumps, there are strong chances that your rash is already infected.
Not all molds are poisonous and the allergies imparted by them may not be life-threatening but there are numerous kinds of molds out there that are actually very dangerous and if you have mold allergy in any given form or you have rash then the first thing to do is to consult a physician followed by a mold expert to find and remediate mold from your home.
It is also recommended to avoid self-medication in case of a mold rash, the first thing to do is to get yourself a mold-free environment so that there is no further build-up of mold spores and secondly get medicines for it.
A cool bath with baking soda or an antihistamine cream is a great way to speed up the process of healing a mold rash.
Mold Allergy Symptoms
Mold allergy is primarily caused when mold spores are inhaled or ingested but, in most cases, this only happens when there is sufficient humidity in the house and there are plenty of mold spores in your environment.
Allergy symptoms are mainly linked to the lungs and the respiratory system. But there are other symptoms as well and it is often very easy to confuse these symptoms with those of something else.
Because of this confusion, most patients end up taking the wrong medication and they get nowhere with their problem.
In fact, this only causes the problem to worsen because there is an excessive build-up of mycotoxins in the body and a continued exposure keeps adding to the build-up.
Therefore, whenever you feel sick, it is necessary and in fact crucial that you study your symptoms carefully to reach a sound conclusion.
As said earlier, most mold allergy symptoms are around the lungs and the respiratory symptom. So, if you have inhaled or ingested mold spores, you could be caught up with a runny or a stuffed nose along with sneezing.
Furthermore, coughing and itchy eyes are a common symptom of the irritation imparted by mold spores.
Mold allergy also dries the nose and the throat which causes irritation in the throat as well as the nasal cavity.
However, someone may confuse a runny or a stuffy nose with flu or watery eyes with an eye infection.
Once you have these symptoms coming, be sure to check everything. Asthma is in close link with mold allergy as well.
If you have asthma, a mold allergy will aggravate your asthma symptoms as well.
In this case, exposure to mold spores may cause tightening in the chest and shortness of breath.
This is almost always coupled with coughing and sneezing. In such a situation, a nasal spray or a Singulair should immediately be used.
Although most mold allergy symptoms can be taken care of at home, there is one rule of thumb as to when to see the doctor.
That being, when you see your symptoms to be persistent and not going away even after (subtle and regulated) medication, you need to see the doctor.
A regular mold allergy medication normally helps fairly quickly with watery eyes, a runny nose and throat irritation. It also soothes coughing to a large extent.
But, if you see that your symptoms are not going away even after two or three days of medication, it is best advised to see a doctor.
Moreover, if you have a more complicated problem with your lungs or the preparatory system including (but not limited to) asthma, you are best off seeing a doctor for it.
People with cystic fibrosis and other respiratory problems will only have their infections triggered and aggravated by mold allergy.
A medication may even go wrong in such a case it is therefore recommended to see a doctor with your medical history and get prescribed medication for it rather than self-medication.
Mold Skin Rash Pictures
Mold allergy normally causes a skin rash that can go from mild to very intense depending on the exposure.
Mold Skin Rash Pictures:
The length of the exposure and the kind of mold spores you are being exposed to define what kind of rash you could be subject to and how bad it is.
Mold Allergy Treatment & Medication
Before diving in for a mold allergy treatment, there are two things that need to be taken care of. Firstly, you need to make sure whether you have a mold allergy.
For this you can either go for a skin prick test or a blood test, in either case, a physician can tell you exactly if you have a mold allergy.
Once it has been identified that your allergy is because of mold, the next step is to cut off all exposure from the mold until your condition gets better.
Mold allergy only intensifies when exposure is continued because the mycotoxins deposit in your system and the situation only gets worse because of further deposit.
One way to do it is to go live with another family member or a friend for a couple of days until your condition gets better. This would also be a good time to call in a professional to remediate the mold and dehumidify the entire home.
Once you cut down all exposure to mold, you can proceed with treatment. The following treatment methods may be used in a combination or as instructed by your doctor.
A mold allergy may cause upper respiratory tract infections or inflammations which is the primary reason for excessive coughing and sneezing.
A nasal spray clears up and reduces inflammation that is caused by these kinds of infections.
Doctors often recommend nasal sprays as a first step towards treating mold allergies because molds mainly cause problems in the respiratory and system and secondly because nasal sprays are so effective.
Although these sprays are safe for use and do not always have side effects even after a long-term use but for some people they may cause nosebleeds or dryness in the nasal cavity.
You can distance the intervals in which you use the spray to avoid side effects.
When your immune system responds to an infection or a disease, it releases histamines as antibodies which cause problems like itching, sneezing, and inflammation.
These histamines can be dealt with by using an antihistamine medication or a lotion on a part of the body where there is excessive itching.
Some antihistamines which have been selling for a long time normally cause drowsiness and fatigue. However, newer antihistamine drugs that are available as over-the-counter medicines do not affect cognition and can be used between work and school.
An antihistamine normally imparts a dry mouth but no serious side effects.
Oral decongestants also help against congestion and inflammation. Over the counter, oral decongestants can be used as an effective treatment against mold allergy but this does not always suit everyone.
These drugs can increase heart rate and thereby increase blood pressure therefore if you suffer from hypertension and blood pressure issues, it is best to resort to some other kind of treatment.
Dosage should also be based on a prescription.
Nasal Decongestion Sprays
A nasal decongestion spray reduces congestion in the nasal cavity, but its use is recommended to be regulated.
Once you use a nasal decongestion spray, it reduces nasal congestion by a good amount but if you consistently use it for about 4 days or more, your body gets used to functioning with a decongestion spray and then you will have more severe congestion without using the spray.
It is therefore advised to use a decongestion spray only in case of severe congestion and its use should only be limited to three or four days, or as prescribed by a physician.
Also known as Singulair, these tablets help patients with asthma who cannot tolerate nasal sprays.
They are not as effective as nasal sprays but help when there are mild asthma and breathing irritation.
Immunotherapy involves shots that impart immunity to certain kinds of diseases and allergies.
A specific kind of allergy shot for mold allergy can be used as immunotherapy, this helps patients develop a strong immunity towards most molds.
Nasal lavage is a home-based method that can be used to clear the nose from any congestion or irritation that comes with respiratory issues caused by mold allergies.
A nasal lavage includes a saltwater solution (with distilled/boiled (and cooled) water) in an irrigation apparatus such as a squeeze bottle.
A suitable squeeze bottle is one that comes in a sinus rinse. This process is basically just cleaning your nasal cavity for any irritants using saltwater.
Every time you use the squeeze bottle (or whatever apparatus you are using), be sure to rinse it properly because the saltwater can leave deposits in the apparatus which can render it useless.
Sleep with the Windows Closed
An important part of treating mold allergy is to sleep with the windows closed at night. The reason for night specifically is that when the weather gets cool at night, the density of mold spores present in the outdoor air increases.
With the higher concentration of mold spores, it is best for you to close the windows at night so as to keep those spores out of your house.
Mold Allergy Tests
There are normally two types of mold allergy tests performed as a method to identify if a patient is allergic to a specific kind of allergen.
A skin test is a fairly simple and relatively cheaper test as compared to the blood test. In this test, a number of allergens are tested on the body to see which ones react.
An allergy specialist takes a small amount of an allergen and pricks it into the skin. This process is done for a number of different types of allergens.
The process is normally carried out on the forearm or the back where results can easily be read.
The region of the body turns red or swells if it is allergic to a certain kind of an allergen. Moreover, a more reliable test is a two-fold one.
In this test, the suspected allergen (in a small quantity) is also injected into the skin. This can be used to verify whether an allergy exists or not.
When a skin prick test is performed, it is important that it is carried out by an experienced professional. This test can give very precise results very quickly, but it is most important that it is carried out properly and this can only be done by someone who has performed the test enough number of times.
Mold Allergy Blood Test
Blood test costs more than a skin prick test and also takes a while until results are received but it usually more effective in determining the precise condition of a patient.
This is because external agents may also interfere with a skin prick test but there is no possibility for that in a blood test.
Furthermore, an extra-strong allergen may cause more severe reactions on the skin than intended and for this reason, a blood test usually the way out.
Some patients also suffer from skin conditions and this rules out the option for a skin prick test. A blood test gives back results sometimes even after many days, therefore, a better decision can be made after consultation from the doctor and according to the condition of the patient.
Related Topics: Mold Sickness