Is Mold Causing Your Skin Rash?
Are unexplainable skin rashes leaving you, literally, scratching your head for answers? Exposure to mold in your house could be the sneaky cause of your skin woes.
Many people exposed to mold develop dry, itchy, red, or flaky skin. The medical term for this malady is atopic dermatitis or eczema. Mold-related skin rashes occur through contact with airborne spores or contaminated surfaces.
Understanding In-house Mold Exposure and Skin Rashes
A skin rash resulting from in-house mold exposure is an innate defense mechanism of your immune system. When exposed to mold spores and mycotoxins, your immune system goes haywire and initiates an allergic reaction. In response to allergen exposure, your immune cells employ cytokines. You need these cytokines to initiate an inflammatory response and protect against pathogens, such as mold. However, a result of this inflammatory cytokine storm might be a skin rash.
A patient case study in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology explored the connection between mold exposure and skin rashes. In this case study, a patient had a 15-year history of recurrent erythematous or abnormal skin redness. Despite rigorous antibiotic and steroid therapy, the patient's skin condition didn't improve until she moved out of her home.
Why wasn't their skin responsive to treatment until moving out of the home? One word, mold.
Indoor mold counts for the patient's bedroom and bathroom came back quite high. The patient's skin samples also tested positive for several types of mold: Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Cladosporium. Doctors concluded the patient's case was atopic dermatitis triggered by exposure to mold.
You're not alone when it comes to your skin concerns. A medical review found that 53% of patients with "toxic mold syndrome" presented with skin rashes. Patients in this review also reported rhinitis, cough, headache, respiratory symptoms, central nervous system symptoms, and fatigue. If your skin rash accompanies any of these symptoms, there's a high probability mold is the culprit.
Symptoms of Mold Exposure-Induced Skin Rashes
The presentation of a rash triggered by mold exposure varies. The species of mold, your medical history, and the severity of exposure can all affect the nature of your rash. Your allergic response to mold exposure may be worsened by an already compromised immune system.
Signs and symptoms of mold exposure-induced skin rashes include:
- Redness or discoloration
- Inflamed pustules
- Bumpy texture
Considering a mold-related skin rash is the product of an allergic reaction, you may also experience the following symptoms:
- Itching in the nose, eyes, and throat
- Post nasal drip
- Excessive mucus production in the back of the throat
- Shortness of breath
- Watery eyes
Is a Mold-Related Skin Rash Contagious?
Mold-related skin rashes aren't necessarily contagious. Nevertheless, an allergic reaction may be initiated if a large amount of mold spores remain on your skin and another person comes into contact with the fungus. Science shows fungi cause contagious skin diseases such as ringworm, athlete's foot, or yeast infections. However, there isn't sufficient research determining how contagious if at all, mold-induced skin rashes are.
What Should You Do About Mold Related Skin Rashes?
If you suspect your skin rash is a consequence of mold exposure, consult your doctor or a healthcare professional. At first glance, your doctor might not be able to determine if your rash is a result of mold. Further assessment and testing may be needed.
A common test performed by allergy specialists is the skin-prick test. This test applies diluted amounts of allergens, such as mold, to the surface of the skin. If you have an allergy to the diluted specimen, such as mold, an allergic reaction such as hives, redness, or swelling will ensue.
You can also measure your allergic response to mold through the radioallergosorbent blood test. This test measures the amount of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in your bloodstream. A recent study states measuring specific IgE (sIgE) levels in response to mold exposure is likely a valuable tool for diagnosis.
The above tests may help evaluate mold exposure and associated allergic reactions, but none are perfect. Additional research is needed to reach a consensus on the best combination of tests for diagnostic purposes.
Based on the presentation of your rash, your doctor may prescribe antihistamines or topical steroids. Both can provide symptomatic relief. If your mold-related skin rash is unresponsive to treatment, your doctor should refer you to a dermatologist for further assessment.
Other potentially helpful at-home remedies include aloe vera, shea butter, colloidal oatmeal cream, and calendula cream. Always consult with your doctor or health care professional before implementing any of these.
After seeking medical attention, remediating your environment is the next priority. It's crucial to seek out professional mold remediation services from a reputable company, such as Mold KO. We highly advise against trying your hand at DIY methods to get rid of mold. Often, at-home mold “treatments” worsen the problem and aggravate spores. Instead, seek professional mold remediation to protect yourself and your family.
Mold KO specializes in various mold remediation needs. We utilize thermal imaging cameras and moisture meters to pinpoint the exact areas in your house where mold is thriving and causing your health issues, such as skin rashes. Once we determine the area(s) in need of mold remediation, we prepare and isolate it. This step is critical for safe mold removal to prevent spores from spreading to other parts of the home. Mold-damaged material is either removed or treated upon assessment. Following remediation, Mold KO uses specific methods to prevent the mold from coming back.
Save Your Health From Mold With Our Professional Services
We've been in the mold remediation industry for years. We understand the extent that mold damages your health. Mold-related skin rashes are just one symptom of exposure that can be debilitating and affect your quality of life.
Allow Mold KO to take care of your needs. We strictly follow standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration (IIRC). We're the solution to your problem, not that random blog on the internet telling you to kill mold with bleach.
Our team is available to offer professional guidance for your mold remediation needs. Give us a call today at 888-253-4551 to make an appointment for inspection and testing. Or, fill out the form online and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.
We currently operate in:
- Alexandria, VA
- Arlington, TX
- Brooklyn, NY
- Dallas, TX
- Elizabeth, NJ
- Gaithersburg, MD
- Miami, FL
- Washington, DC
Rest assured we've got your back with timely and efficient mold remediation services.