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What The Heck Are Dust Mites?

I cant begin to tell you how often I get this question? We all know they are bad and that we dont want them but most of us remain fairly uneducated about what dust mites are and how to combat them.

Simply put dust mites are microscope bugs that primarily live on dead skin cells regularly shed from humans and their animal pets. Dust mites are generally harmless to most people. They don’t carry diseases, but they can cause allergic reactions in asthmatics and others who are allergic to their feces. People sometimes confuse dust mites with bed bugs.

Most of us forget that the average human “sheds” off 1/3 ounce (10 grams) of dead skin a week! That gives dust mites a lot to eat. Cats and dogs create far more dander for dust mites to eat. So any place where a person or an animal lounges a great deal becomes a dust mite “buffet” of sorts. Thats why we see so many on couches and mattresses.

Its not uncommon for the typical mattress to contain tens of thousands of dust mites. 100,000 mites can live in one square yard. A single dust mite produces about 20 waste droppings each day. As gross as it sounds (and is) it is a protein in this waste that cause many allergic reactions ranging from itchy eyes to asthma attacks.

So how can you recognize the symptoms to dust mites?

The protein in the dust mite waste produces antibodies in humans who are allergic when these are inhaled or touch the skin. These antibodies cause the release of histamines which causes to nasal congestion, swelling and irritation of the upper respiratory passages. The Mayo Clinic, WebMD and many others collectively provide this list of typical symptoms of an allergy to dust mites;

Breast Feeding and Allergies?

One of the main reasons I was drawn to allergy and asthma medicine was because of how many seemingly bizarre connections there are to asthma, allergies and skin issues alike.

Take breast feeding for example. Most articles related to the importance of breast feeding lean heavily upon the psychological and emotional development of children. But did you know there is scientific fact connecting breast-feeding and asthma? And not just breast-feeding in general but actually the term that a mother breast feeds!

A new Dutch study found that babies who are exclusively breastfed up to the age of six months have a lower risk of developing asthma-related symptoms in early childhood.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam in The Netherlands and was published online in the European Respiratory Journal. The researchers emphasize that their findings support current recommendations that infants in industrialized countries should only receive breast milk up to the age of six month.

While previous studies have linked breastfeeding and asthma risk, this study is the first to show a link between duration of breastfeeding and number of wheezing periods.

Researchers summed up their conclusion in the following statement: “Shorter duration and non-exclusivity of breastfeeding were associated with increased risks of asthma-related symptoms in preschool children.

Teen Acne Part 3 – Suicide Risks

Over the past two weeks we have been discussing the issues and treatments for teen acne. While this started as a back to school series it has quickly become an overwhelming resounding awareness of how serious teen acne has become since I was in high school


When I was in high school the worst that could ever happen was the occasional wedgy or maybe, maybe a beating but that was more or less a set up for 90210 Beverly Hills!


What I have come to learn over the last two weeks has been more than just a little disturbing.


I have had patients and friends respond to me in a way that I never imagined!


I thought I would have a few people respond with their horrible high school memories that are amusing all these years later not be congratulated for addressing an issue of todays teens!


I had NO idea that kids today were actually dropping out of school and in literally hundreds of cases every year actually ending their short precious lives in part to something like acne.


As I have been contacted by

Back To School Skin Care, Part Two – DIET

Keeping with the theme of starting back to school and the dreaded teen acne we are discussing food and diet in general.

Helping teens with acne has become a billion dollar industry. While there are many good products out there as well as easy, painless laser treatments like I perform many of the effects can be lessen by being aware of how our bodies, namely our faces respond to certain foods.

I remember as a kid how much I didn’t believe that diet had anything to do with my acne problem. Then again I also didn’t think my acne would ever go away!
Fortunately it did but it could have been a lot easier had I listened to m dear ole moms advice.

Recent studies suggest that carbohydrates with a high glycemic index, which cause glucose and insulin levels to spike, may influence the development and severity of acne. Of course the opposite is true. A diet high in protein and carbohydrates with a low glycemic index seemed to improve acne breakouts.

So what does all this medical jargon mean for you or your kiddios? Well it doesnt mean that any one food is causing acne. However, a healthy diet will certainly improve your overall health. Instead of highly processed foods, try incorporating more whole grains (such as whole wheat bread, wheat pastas, brown rice, oatmeal, etc.) into your diet, as well as plenty vegetables, fruit, and lean protein. As always you want to limit the amount of soda, sugary snacks, and other “junk foods” whenever possible. You have nothing to lose, and a healthy body to gain. And while the research is still ongoing I can strongly say possibly clearer skin, too.

While this study did not link any one food to acne breakouts, it does strongly suggests that a nutritious diet can help the skin stay healthy too. More research needs to be done to prove a definitive link between diet and acne development. However after years of working with teens and their skin as well as their allergies I can tell you there is a link. Please don’t ignore this.

As your body is going through so many changes especially hormonal changes during your teen years there is no reason to multiply the effects on your skin with a bad diet.

If a particular food seems to cause more breakouts for you, avoid eating it.

For further research check out these great sites:

Always Sick? 10 Warning Signs of Immune Deficiencies For Adults

Even in todays day of innovative medicine many are unaware of the importance of understanding their immunology. In fact many doctors never even look at this fundamental building block in properly assessing their patients issues. The fact is that most of all symptoms can be tracked back to issues with our your immune system.

There are many types of immune deficiencies and the quicker you can identify that you are suffering from one of them the faster you can move on to true solutions and not just treating the symptoms.

Here are 10 warning signs that you might have an immune deficiency.

10 warning signs of primary immune deficiency for adults:

1. Two or more new ear infections within 1 year.
2. Two or more serious sinus infections within 1 year, in absence of an
3. One pneumonia per year for 1 year.
4. Chronic diarrhea with weight loss.
5. Recurrent viral infections (colds, herpes, warts, condyloma)
6. Recurrent need for intravenous antibiotics to clear infections.
7. Recurrent, deep abscesses of the skin or internal organs.
8. Persistent thrush or fungal infection on skin or elsewhere.
9. Infection with normally harmless tuberculosis-like bacteria.
10. A family history of PI.

Most Americans are caught in an endless loop of identifying symptoms, treating those symptoms but never recovering. If you identify with ANY of these above mentioned warning signs please see an Immunologist and get busy solving the cause!


Here are some excellent resources for more research!