Hypoallergenic Dogs

Have allergy issues but still want the incomparable companionship from man’s best friend? There is a solution; a hypoallergenic dog. While all dogs are not completely allergy free, you can find some that will cause you less allergy problems.

Hypoallergenic dogs can be found in several breeds including the Peruvian Hairless Dog that was given to Obama’s family. The reason this dog is hypoallergenic is due the size and naked body. Although it is not the fur that people have allergic reactions to, a dog with out fur is less likely to shed dander everywhere if groomed correctly.

If a bald dog is not your cup of tea, there are hypoallergenic dog breeds that keep their “clothes” on. Some breeds include Poodles, Bichon Frise, Chihuahua, and Schnauzer. Keep in mind that these dogs will only be hypoallergenic to their full potential if they are cared for correctly.

All hypoallergenic dogs need to be brushed everyday. When brushing your dog, do it outside. Be sure to wash the brush when you are finished so dander doesn’t follow you back in. Follow up with frequent baths will keep the dander from shedding off your dog and throughout the house. The best shampoo to use on your dog is with allergen shampoo that will be gentle on his skin.

After your friend is all taken care of, you still need to take care of the house. If you bathe the dog, wash his bed too. In addition to his bedding, the floor should be the only other place he sleeps and should not be allowed on the furniture; but what pet lover doesn’t bend the rules now and then? Still, you need to vacuum your floors and furniture. Maybe even invest in an air purifier if you have acute allergies. Over all the household cleaning, the number one thing to do is to always wash your hands after care, even after feeding. What goes on your hands ends up on you.

Future hypoallergenic dog owners beware: you will not react to the same to every breed or even every dog encountered within the same breed. Research the breed of hypoallergenic dog you are interested in. Then go hang out with one and see how your allergies react. If you were pleased with the result, introduce yourself to another. Several different dogs of the same breed will give you a better idea of your sensitivities and if it’s a good idea to own more than one. Puppies are also different than adult dogs so if you desire a puppy, remember that it will grow up. When babies, they have less skin and different make up of an adult dog. A puppy will generally trigger less allergy reactions in everyone.

Taking care of the dog to keep it hypoallergenic isn’t all you need to keep in mind when thinking about bringing a dog into your home. Having a pet is a lifetime responsibility. Every breed is different when it comes to personality and exercise needs. Be sure that you can provide every thing he is going to need to fulfill his end of the bargain of being a good dog.

Do your research on the one you pick and a couple to meet. Bald dog or not, if you are wanting companionship without the burning eyes and runny nose, there’s a hypoallergenic dog waiting somewhere for you.

Dust Allergy Survival Guide

For those of you who have constant allergies who’s symptoms seem to be vague or untraceable, you may have an allergy to dust, or rather the waste matter deposited by dust mites after they feed off the skin of you and your pets. This waste matter becomes airborne every time you move about the room or take off your shirt, or even breathe!

Detect Your Allergy

The first thing you need to do if you have persistent allergies is to see an allergist who can administer a skin prick test. Let me tell you, this test will really open up your eyes and show you just how wrong you’ve been about your allergies. For years I thought my allergies were the seasonal pollen and mold allergies, but low and behold on that day in the allergists office, I saw a huge welt develop where the dust mite substance had been applied.

For thirty years I’d been completely barking up the wrong tree! Everywhere I’d ever lived during my entire lifetime, I’d been doing exactly the wrong things to control a dust allergy.

An Affordable Way To Detect The Dust

Although extremely expensive, an air quality monitor can be very helpful in seeing how much dust is in your house. There are very few of these made for residences, and some of the hand-held ones can be up around $2000 or more! One of the best I’ve seen, and I own one, is the Dylos Air Quality Monitor. This relatively cheap laser reader, under $200, can at least let you know the particle density in the air and show you when the room is “settled”. What I mean by “settled” is that if you sit in your home office with the Dylos nearby, the gauge will show a low reading. However, when you stand up and move around, the meter starts to jump because you are moving around the dust that has collected in your room. I never knew just how much particles are swirled into the air just by standing up!

One of the things I noticed right away was that using an air purifier greatly reduced the overall average of particles in the air, especially when I moved around.

At least I had something to work with!

What To Do About Dust Allergies

The first and easiest method is to take some kind of medication for your dust allergy. The only two types that have ever worked for me are antihistamine’s (spray or pill) and steroid-type solutions. For years I tried several medications that worked for the most part but caused side effects. Claritin, Kenalog and Nasonex kept me clear but often gave me weird feelings of anxiety of stomach problems if taken too often. There’s a medication out there that will work for you, but you may have to go through some trial and error. Regardless of what works for you, I would not recommend NOT taking them everyday even if your doctor says it is OK. I use medications for one or two weeks until the worst part of the allergic reaction is over and then lay off of them for awhile.

The next best thing, of course, is to try to make your home as dust free as possible so you can avoid taking medications that will have an adverse affect on your body. This will mean you will have to do multiple light chores, likely on a daily basis, in order to keep the particle density in your home down. This means a lot of dusting for you!

First rule of thumb. Never dry dust! Unless, of course, you are a glutton for punishment and want to spend the next five days breathing through a dry mouth! Use a wet cloth and gently wipe it across the surface. Dust tables, TV’s knick knacks and even ceiling fan blades this way. What I like to use are the disinfecting wipes made available by many name brands. The smell nice and make the dusting job easier for you. Or, if your vacuum cleaner is powerful enough, you can do a most of your dusting by utilizing the many dusting attachments that likely came with your vacuum. Make sure to dust ceiling fans, bathroom vents and intake and outtake vents. You will be surprised at how nasty these can get. Get rid of clutter. Gently! Try to keep your house as clutter free as possible. Knick knacks only store more dust and make things harder on you. Ideally, you would keep just enough around to be decorative but make it easy for you to clean with a vacuum or some light dusting.

Are hardwood floors better than carpet for dust allergies? There are a lot of theories pointing in both directions. Some say that carpet traps more dust than hardwood, so that when you walk over a carpet it actually kicks up less dust than walking across a hardwood floor. Regardless of the type of flooring you use, keeping it maintained is essential to reducing allergic reactions due to allergies. One thing is clear though, hardwood floors are better for controlling the moisture levels in your home. If you are going to stick with carpet, then get a good, HEPA vacuum. Canisters seem to be the best because they are fully enclosed and ventilate a clean stream of air that sometimes is cleaner than some of the best air filtration units. The canister design, at least until recent years, has been able to house more powerful motors for more suction. The canister’s mobility and versatile head adjustments make it a better device regardless of your flooring. In addition, get a relatively good “steam vac” like a Hoover Steam Vac or a Bissell that will wet down the carpet and really pick up any dirt or dust. These can also run a couple of hundred dollars, but if you are determined to have carpet, you will need one.

Another very good idea is to get good casings for your pillows and bed that will help keep the dust mites locked in so they have less of a chance to come out and cause trouble. I recommend getting casings for you mattress, pillows and even the box spring. Along with this, make sure to wash your bedding every 7-10 days in hot water to kill any mites that may be living there. These particular steps are very important considering your face is buried in your pillow when you sleep and so you are more susceptible to breathing dust mite debris.

Although they can be expensive, get some good HEPA air filtration units for your home and make sure to keep up on changing the filter when it’s time. I have several units placed strategically around my home for maximum filtration. There are many name brands available in all price ranges. As long as they are proven to filter dust and mold particles then you should be good with just about any model. Any air filtration unit is better than none. Also, make sure to change the filter in your home’s furnace unit on a regular basis. These filters are relatively cheap and easy to change.

If you have pets, frequently sweep the areas where they spend the most time, and try to keep your pets as well groomed as possible. Dogs can be bathed rather frequently, and for cats you can get some of those handy cat bath wipes that help reduce allergens residing in your cat’s fur. I favor the wipes because giving a cat a normal bath in a sink or tub is just way to stressful for you and your cat.

Finally, create a dust chore chart to keep track of your daily chores. This can be as simple as a list on the refrigerator or something scribbled onto a notepad.

What I ended up doing is creating an excel spreadsheet with a list of chores across the top. Down the left side I put in the days of the week. At the bottom is a cell that counts up the amount of X’s I put for each chore through the week and measures how well I did that week. It let’s me know how long it’s been since doing a particular chore and only takes a second to fill in.

You’ll never accomplish everything you want with regards to keeping your house clean, but with a little determination and a good plan you can have a clean air home and greatly reduce your dependency on allergy medicines. Being smart about keeping the air cleaner in your home will result in better health and a more comfortable quality of life for you and your family. Even if you only accomplish 70 or 80% of what you had originally planned, it should still greatly reduce the amount of itchy eyes, runny nose and the myriads of other symptoms that affect you due to your dust allergy.

Do You Have a Cell Phone Allergy?

Is your face red, itchy and scaly? Don’t blame it on your cosmetics. It could be your cell phone. With so many people using cell phones these days, cell phone allergy is becoming more common. Most people don’t realize that cell phones can trigger allergic reactions. Why would this be?

Cell Phone Allergy: What Causes It?

Most cell phones contain nickel, a metal that many people are allergic to. If you’re allergic to nickel, you may experience symptoms of contact dermatitis such as scaly skin patches and redness along with intense itching. Most people blame it on a new skin or cosmetic product they’re using, never realizing it’s coming from the nickel in their cell phone.

Why Are so Many People Allergic to Nickel?

Nickel allergies are more common in women with up to one in five women being affected. The number of people with allergy to nickel has risen in this country over the last few decades because of repeated exposure to the metal from body piercings and cell phones.

Repeated exposure to nickel over time causes the body to become “sensitized” to it, which leads to the symptoms of nickel allergy. Other sources of nickel exposure are jewelry, eyeglass frames, belt buckles, coins, watchbands, keys and dental appliances such as fillings and braces.

What Can You Do About a Cell Phone Allergy?

Few people are willing to give up their cell phone. If you believe you’re allergic to nickel, choose a cell phone that doesn’t have a metal casing, or place a protective plastic coating over the metal so it doesn’t touch your skin. Nickel allergies don’t go away and repeated exposure to nickel will only sensitize the skin more and worsen the symptoms. If you’re allergic to nickel, avoid sources of this metal too. If you believe you’re allergic to nickel, you can purchase a test kit online that detects whether there’s nickel in the products you use. These tests are easy-to-use and reasonably priced.

Cell Phone Allergy: The Bottom Line?

If you have a scaly, itchy face and use a cell phone, you could be allergic to nickel. See an allergist and get tested.

References:

Medical News Today. “Allergies Commonly Caused by Cell Phones, Tattoos, Body Piercings and Cosmetics”.

Medscape.com. “Nickel Allergies: Implications for Practice”.