Mold is inescapable. This fungus has been our companion since the dawn of humanity and we will probably never get rid of it. In spore form and small amounts, it presents absolutely no danger to your health; humans have evolved along with it, and our bodies have adapted to its presence.
However, once the mold spreads and begins growing uncontrollably in your immediate living environment, it can trigger an adverse reaction of your immune system and, in high enough doses, be downright dangerous.
The most glaring symptom is a particularly nasty skin problem, which is a tell-tale sign the mold has started to take over your household. Here are the consequences of mold exposure on your skin and how to treat it.
How does it form?
First of all, there are countless different types of mold in your household and not all of them are toxic, even though most of them can cause at least mild allergic symptoms. The main ingredient that encourages the spread of mold is moisture. It absolutely loves damp, warm and dark places. It can also grow on materials that contain a lot of cellulose, including wood, wallpapers and ceiling tiles, not to mention certain types of insulation. More often than not, it appears in bathrooms, in tight spaces behind sinks, cabinets, toilets, carpets, etc.
How exactly does mold affect your body?
The most common symptoms commonly associated with mold infestation are sneezing coughing, wheezing, tight chest, eye irritation and nasal infection. Headaches, diarrhea, vomiting, tiredness and skin rashes are quite serious symptoms that can also occur and you need to do everything in your power to purge your household of mold. If food appears to be moldy, don’t try to salvage the “clean” part of it. Just throw all the scraps away and buy a new bag of groceries.
How to get rid of mold?
In order to get rid of the mold, you will need to apply strong chemicals onto the infested surface. Absolutely avoid using bleach on moldy surfaces and buy safe and recommended cleaner. If you want to be eco-friendly, you can mix up sodium borate and vinegar in hot water to get an effective but benign solution. However, your troubles do not stop there. Mold is present in the air too, so you need to clean every inch of your house, and put the best air purifier for allergies in the bedroom, since you spend most of your time in there. Put your carpets and your linen in the washing machine and give it a good hot-water spin.
How does mold affect your skin?
Rash and hives are the most common symptoms of any allergy and many people are allergic to mold. As your body produces antibodies to destroy the substance that threatens you, it can overreact and cause irritation, inflammation and even swelling. If this swelling starts to occur in your throat, you need to seek medical attention immediately as it can be life threatening.
What about complications?
Rashes can appear as pink patches of skin and it can even start flaking. Essentially, the skin irritation caused by mold behaves like any other allergy-induced dermatitis, which means it is also itchy. Scratching can become hard to resist and this can lead to serious complications. The rash can turn into a wound with a discharge and if it’s not treated in time it can even cause significant swelling in the wider area and trigger fever. In this case, antihistamines and cleaning your home will not help – you will probably need to take antibiotics.
How to treat it?
As we mentioned, over-the-counter antihistamines are usually the best and the most effective cure for mold-induced skin problems. Some of these antihistamines can come in the form of a cream you can rub onto the irritated area. Generally, you will need to take lukewarm baths and use gentle soap; also baking soda relieves itching and calms your skin. Any sort of body lotion will go a long way but you have to arm yourself with patience. Your skin will need several weeks to recover, and the recovery has to take place in a mold-free environment.
About the author:
Roxana is a travel enthusiast and lifestyle consultant from Sydney and she loves to write about her adventures. She is all about the healthy lifestyle, loves to run with her husband and dogs and has fun cooking exotic meals for her family. Being a typical Aussie, she often hits the waves and loves beaches and sunshine! You can find out more about her writing following her on twitter and facebook. She is also one of the editors at Higstylife Magazine.