Is There A Test To Determine If I Have Been Exposed To Mold
Some physicians have recommended testing for mold-specific antibodies. Thepresence of antibodies only indicates that you have been exposed to a substanceat some time. It does not tell you when you were exposed, where the exposuretook place, or how much of the mold you were exposed to. Having a positive testfor mold-specific antibodies alone is generally considered insufficient toprove that health effects reported by individuals in moisture-damaged buildingsare caused by exposure to mold.
Molds Effect On Your Skin
The symptoms connected to mold illness are a mile long. And if you include the condition known as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome the list grows longer still. CIRS is a common cause of complex, poorly understood medical conditions like;chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
But so far as the conventional medical community is concerned, CIRS is not a recognized condition. Fortunately, they do recognize a number of other symptoms to be caused by mold. Some of the commonly agreed-upon symptoms of mold exposure include:
- Nasal congestion
- Eye irritation
- Skin rashes or irritation
One study found that more than 50% of those exposed to mold experienced skin rashes and/or other skin irritations. Another meta-analysis found that mold;had consistent positive associations with multiple allergic and respiratory effects .
I think its safe to make the conclusion that mold affects your skin. If you want to stop applying steroid creams to your skin for the foreseeable future, you need to identify the root cause.
Mold could be the cause youre searching for!
How To Get Rid Of Mold In The Home
As noted above, mold spores are around you at all times and can lay dormant for years. However, in order for mold spores to germinate , they need the ideal conditions to do so.
Mold thrives in humid climates and on/in surfaces that have moisture, a food source , and oxygen.
In order to eliminate mold you need to remove elements from the aforementioned growth equation.
Moisture + Food Source + Oxygen = Mold Spore Germination
Its obviously not possible to remove oxygen from the atmosphere as we need it to breathe.
Molds food source is usually structural surfaces like gypsum drywall, wood, and paper. Which are also hard to eliminate.
Leaving us to eliminate moisture and humidity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that humidity should be kept below 60% and ideally between 30-50%. Humidity results in condensation on surfaces like the structural nutrient sources above. Without moisture, mold spores cannot germinate.
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What Does Mold Do To Your Skin
Do you know how acne is typically treated?;
In conventional medical settings, antibiotics, like tetracycline, are the first line of treatment.
Why would you use something that affects your gut like antibiotics to treat your skin?;
The gut-skin connection, thats why. The health of your skin is strongly connected to the health of your gut.
In the early 90s and 00s, a medication known as Accutane was commonly prescribed for moderate to severe acne. And boy did it work well at clearing up acne. But it had an intense side-effect Accutane was strongly associated with causing inflammatory bowel disease .
Other connections between your gut and your skin can be seen through the lens of a leaking gut. One study showed that patients with acne had elevated levels of something called lipopolysaccharides . LPS is a common marker used to determine if you have a leaky gut.
Celiac disease can manifest as a condition known as dermatitis herpetiformis .; More than 10% of celiac disease manifests this way. In DH, patients will often have zero symptoms commonly associated with celiac disease bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain, etc.; Instead, the most common symptom is an incredibly itchy rash on your skin.
Instead, skin rashes from mold will often result from an internal infection. The majority of the time, you wont even know youve been exposed to mold. Youll just experience a skin rash and be unsure where it came from.
What Does A Mold Rash Look Like
Mold is most prevalent during the summer when humidity is at its highest levels. What one should also keep in mind is that warm temperatures and even the sun itself can cause rashes. Not only that, but there are many other causes such as insect bites, coming into contact with certain types of plants, and even stress.
So how do you tell if you have a heat rash or too much exposure to mold?
Mold rashes will most of the time appear as small red bumpy dots and can appear just about anywhere on the body, such as the face, arms, torso, and legs. Heat rashes have a very similar appearance but will show up where sweat collects, such as on the chest, groin area, waist, back, and armpits. If exposed to mold spores, then you will more than likely be showing other symptoms in addition to the rashes.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Mold On Bathroom Walls
Receiving Online Treatment For Mold
You can receive treatment for a mold-related skin rash online. Plushcare offers access to online doctors, who can offer advice, prescribe medication, and work out treatment plans with you from the comfort of your own home. To get started, book an online appointment with a board-certified doctor here.;
When To Seek Medical Care For Sporotrichosis
When to call the doctor
- If you think you might have sporotrichosis, see a doctor about diagnosis and treatment.
- If you are already being treated for sporotrichosis, contact a doctor if new sores develop or if the old ones appear to be growing.
When to go to the hospital
- Sporotrichosis in the skin or lymph nodes should not be dangerous or life threatening.
- Open ulcers can become infected with bacteria and may cause a condition known as cellulitis.
- If a rapidly expanding area of redness, pain, and warmth around the original ulcers develops, you should go to your local emergency room.
Read Also: How To Stop Mold Smell
How To Prevent Mold Exposure In Your Home
Mold exposure may adversely affect your health, even if you do not have asthma or a mold allergy. By keeping your home clean and free of visible mold, you can help reduce your daily exposure to the airborne allergen. Mold can start to grow when mold spores land on any wet surface in your home, and signs of mold growth include water stains and an earthy, musty odor.
You can help prevent mold growth in your home by:
While the ideal situation is to prevent mold growth in the first place, you cannot always avoid stumbling upon a surprise patch of mold in your home. If this happens to you, try to eliminate the source of excess moisture and clean up the mold as quickly as possible using detergent and water, according to the EPA. You may have to throw away any porous or absorbent materials that have been become moldy. When you are finished, you should make sure that the entire area, including all furniture and other objects that have come into contact with the mold, is completely dry.
How Do Doctors Diagnose Mold Allergy
To diagnose an allergy to mold or fungi, the doctor will take a complete medical history. If they suspect a mold allergy, the doctor often will do skin tests or allergen specific IgE blood tests. Extracts of different types of fungi may be used to scratch or prick the skin. If there is no reaction, then you probably dont have an allergy. The doctor uses the patient’s medical history, the skin testing results and the physical exam to diagnose a mold allergy.
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Treating A Skin Rash Caused By Mold
Antihistamines are often used to halt or decrease allergic responses. You can buy antihistamine drugs like Benadryl or Allegra over the counter or you can get a prescription for antihistamines from your doctor. You can also get antihistamine creams to apply directly to your rash to relieve itching. Taking cool baths with baking soda or colloidal oatmeal added to the water is a simple home remedy that will help relieve itching and discomfort, as well.
As long as you continue to be exposed to mold, though, youll probably continue to have symptoms, even with treatment. To get rid of a mold-related rash for good, youll need to have all mold removed from your home.
Black Mold Remediation On Skin
You might understand that mold in the house can trigger respiratory issues, however did you understand it can likewise trigger a skin rash? A rash from mold can be unpleasant and very scratchy, and if you scratch too much, you run the risk of breaking the skin and triggering an infection;of this can cause of an ailment needing healthcare, consisting of prescription antibiotics, and might likewise trigger scarring black mold on skin.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Airborne Mold In House
When Should You Test Your Home For Mold Exposure
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency , if visible mold is present on inspection, testing is usually unnecessary. There are no Environmental Protection Agency or government standards that have been established for mold or mold spore levels, so it is impossible to prove that a building or room complies with any health regulations concerning mold exposure. Likewise, the CDC does not recommend routine sampling and testing of mold in the home. Health officials haven’t defined tolerable or acceptable limits of mold exposure for humans, and since individuals vary in their susceptibility to mold, testing cannot reliably predict the degree of health risks from any occurrence of mold.
When mold has previously been identified and cleanup procedures have been undertaken, sampling and testing may be carried out if necessary by qualified professionals to determine that adequate cleaning of a building has occurred.
Can Exposure To Mold Cause A Skin Rash Mycotoxins Explained
Mold can easily grow in damp environments. People who spend time in these environments are likely to complain about respiratory related issues, headaches as well as other physical symptoms, like the development of a rash.
The symptoms of a mycotoxicosis depend on the type of mycotoxin, the duration of exposure, the age, sex, and health of the person, as well as other external factors like genetics, diet, and interaction with other mold species. Meaning, exposure to mold does not always result in adverse health effects like the development of a rash or dermatitis.
In general, airborne mold spores in the environment dont pose a significant health risk to healthy individuals who have regular immune system function. People with comprised immune systems or people who take immunosuppressants may develop respiratory issues as opposed to exhibiting a dermal response. Where-as people who have a mold allergy may develop a skin rash.
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What Causes A Fungal Rash
When your skin comes into contact with a harmful fungus, the infection can cause the rash to appear. For example, if you borrowed a pair of shoes from someone who had athletes foot, the fungus could come in contact with your foot and infect you. Rashes often pass from person to person or from animal to person by direct contact.
Hives From Mold Exposure
Mold is all around us, both indoors and out. Many people never notice it. Some people are allergic to mold, though. Their immune systems react to mold as if its a harmful substance and launch an immune response that can trigger many unpleasant symptoms, including hives.
Allergies to outdoor mold often occur seasonally, like during the rainy season. You cant control the weather or the amount of mold in the outdoor environment, so you may need to take medication to treat your symptoms if they are severe.
Allergies to indoor mold usually only happen when there is a larger-than-normal amount of mold inside or when the type of mold growing indoors is a particularly harmful type, like Stachybotrys chartarum, sometimes referred to as black mold. Some people may be extraordinarily susceptible to mold and develop symptoms when exposed to very small amounts of mold, but usually allergy symptoms like hives dont develop until an unusual amount of mold is present in the home.
Read Also: What To Do If You Have Mold On Your Walls
Who Is At Risk For Developing A Fungal Rash
Anyone can develop a fungal rash. Superficial infections of the skin and nails are cited as the most common form of infection, affecting up to 20-25% of the worlds population at any given time. For example, athletes foot often affects otherwise healthy people. You may have a higher risk for developing a skin rash if you:
- Have a weakened immune system .
- Take long-term or high-dose antibiotics.
- Have excess weight.
- Are pregnant.
Watery Or Irritated Eyes
When allergens are present, the body releases histamines as part of its immune response. This histamine release is what causes the eyes to water excessively when exposed to toxins from mold.
This reaction from histamine may be the bodys way of flushing out allergens and toxins. It can serve as a warning to you that your environment may contain dangerous black mold.
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How Does Mold Exposure Affect Asthma And Existing Allergies
Once you have an allergic reaction to mold, no matter how mild, you may become sensitized to mold spores as an allergen. Long-term exposure to mold may cause mold-related allergy and asthma symptoms to become worse over time. Exposure to mold or dampness may even cause people to develop asthma, according to the CDC.
Mold exposure is a known asthma trigger and may cause inflammation and tightness in the respiratory system as well as mucus in the airways. If you have asthma and a mold allergy, you may notice that exposure to mold spores may trigger asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing and coughing. In more severe cases, exposure to mold spores may cause an asthma attack.
Toxic Mold Exposure: What Would Happen If Someone Kept Getting Their Skin Exposed To Mold
The dangers of toxic mold exposure when it comes to the respiratory system are, at this point, fairly well-known and well-established. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , toxic mold exposure can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, and skin irritation. People with serious allergies to molds may have more severe reactions including fever and shortness of breath; and those with chronic lung illnesses, like obstructive lung disease, may even develop mold infections in their lungs.
But what else can be a result of toxic mold exposure? Can toxic mold exposure cause a skin rash?
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Complications From A Skin Rash Caused By Mold
As mentioned earlier, a rash from mold can be very itchy and its hard not to scratch. Excessive scratching often breaks the skin and then infection can set in. Signs of infection include redness, swelling, and warmth to the touch in the affected area, increasing levels of pain, discharge from wound , and a fever. Usually some oral antibiotics will clear up an infection of this sort but in some cases, the infection is too severe or doesnt respond to the oral antibiotics, and then more intensive treatment, such as hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics, is required. See your doctor as soon as possible if you develop signs of infection after scratching a rash.
Someone recovering from a severe infection of a rash from mold should absolutely recover in a mold-free environment. Exposure to mold during the recovery process will only cause more rash and itching, and with your immune system depressed from dealing with the infection, youll be less able to fight off the harmful effects of mold.
How Your Home Could Be The Cause Of Your Skin Rashes
It should come as no surprise that the air inside your home is full of pollens, dust, fungi, molds, and protozoa. These contaminants make their way from the outdoors through open doors, windows, and vents. Its a completely normal process.
While Im sure having these in your house is not ideal, it is incredibly common. But what isnt common inside your home is dampness. The World Health Organization concluded that dampness was a reliable and consistent indicator of adverse health effects.
Dampness is linked to an increase in mold growth, physical and chemical degradation, and the release of chemicals released from whatever surface is damaged from water.
If there was one thing that aggravated both your skin rashes and the air quality in your home, it would be dampness.
Dont assume that your home is safe! The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 50% of all buildings in the United States are water damaged.; That includes both residential and commercial buildings.
To accurately discern whether your home has water damage, you need specialized testing. I go into detail about how to accurately test your home for mold here.
Enough about your home. Lets discuss how mold affects your skin!
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How To Treat Skin Rashes Caused By Toxic Mold Exposure
If a person has experienced an infection as a result of a rash caused by toxic mold exposure, oral antibiotics can be used to clear up the infection. However, in some cases, if the infection is too severe or doesn’t seem to respond to the oral antibiotics, a more intensive treatment like hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics is required.
If the rash has not yet caused an infection, antihistamines can be used to halt or decrease allergic responses. Antihistamines like Benadryl and Allegra can be bought over-the-counter. Antihistamine creams are also an option, and can be applied directly to the rash to relieve itching. Additionally, cool bath with baking soda or colloidal oatmeal is a simple home remedy believed to relieve itching and discomfort.