Epidermoid avoidance or prevention, involves removing or decreasing exposure to the symptom's trigger in the environment around you. If one is allergic to dust mites, we often recommend pillow and/or mattress covers that are impermeable to dust mite antigen. Common known allergy triggers include: pollen, mold, dust mites and animal dander.
Epidermoid Avoidance Overview
An epidermoid is the dust or dander from the fur or feathers of an animal or bird. Epidermoid avoidance should be practiced by allergic and non-allergic people because of the likelihood of a person becoming sensitive to them. There should be no dogs, cats, birds, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, rates, mice or other animals in the household of an allergic person. Persons allergic to epidermoids should also avoid animals outside the house i.e. zoos, circuses, barns, dog and horse shows. Some patients become irritated only from certain types of pet hair like that of a Labrador Retriever, while a Schnauzer or Maltese breed does not effect the same person. Pets can be removed from the home or kept away from sleeping areas; this is the practical application of epidermoid avoidance.
Epidermoid Avoidance for Animal Dander
Allergic people should practice epidermoid avoidance for horsehair. Avoid contact with horses and stables. Saddles, bridles and horse blankets should be excluded from the home. Horsehair can be contacted through its use in mattresses, hairbrushes, toothbrushes and in furniture.
Cow hair can be found in rug pads, Chenille carpets, Chinese and Indian rugs and toy animals.
Pillows are the most common source of feathers in the home. The best pillows to use are polyester or foam. Feather pillows should not be used by an allergic person.
Wool can be an allergen and an irritant to an allergic person’s airway at the same time. Practice epidermoid avoidance with coarse sweaters and sheepskin coats. Do not use woolen blankets or woolen rugs; especially in the bedroom.
Rabbit hair is used in fur coats, lining for gloves and slippers, toy animals and stuffing for mattresses, pillows and quilts. Allergic people should avoid fur.
House-Pet Epidermoid Avoidance
Cat hair is used in certain inexpensive furs, gloves and linings of slippers and coats. These may also be a source of allergic symptoms. Processed furs are less likely to cause allergies than exposure to cat hair itself. Washing a cat regularly does decrease the allergen load in the home.
Even if you are not allergic to dogs, caution is advised if decided to have a dog in the house. There is no evidence that a Chihuahua, Poodle or any other breed of dog is better tolerated by a person allergic to dogs. Washing a dog regularly does decrease the allergen load in the home.