Mold is a type of fungi that can live in a variety of places. While many people are aware that mold can grow on expired food products, mold can also appear in other places. Mold is frequently found inside the home, living in moist areas such as inside pipes, near the roof, or even in the walls.
Mold vs. Mildew
Both mold and mildew are types of fungi that can be discovered inside the home. In moist areas, fungi can spread while living on a variety of surfaces. While mildew is technically a type of mold, it has its own distinct look.
Mildew can have a powdery texture and frequently affects plants. This type of fungi is usually white or gray and can turn yellow after subsequent growth. Downy mildew can be found on food products such as potatoes.
Mold that grows on the wall or in showers, has a distinct look. It is usually found around the windows or under sinks because it is particularly attracted to damp places. The color of this mold is usually black or dark brown. The texture can feel almost soft, but is potentially very dangerous. Prolonged exposure to black mold can cause allergic reactions and even asthma attacks.
While mildew usually does the most damage to plants or crops, mold is generally harmful for humans. If an individual is exposed to mold, it can cause several health problems. Skin irritation is one likely outcome of mold exposure.
Mold and Your Skin
Household mold can cause skin irritation and infection. Athlete’s foot is one example of a skin infection caused by fungi. Dry, itchy, skin that is not properly treated can be an indication that the fungus will invade the folds of the nail. Nail infections caused by mold can be extremely difficult to treat.
Certain forms of eczema can also be caused by mold. Disk-shaped lesions can present from the changes in microbes from mold. Some skin conditions can become chronic. Allergic reactions from mold include Dyshidrotic Eczema that causes painful and itchy blisters on the palms of the hands.
Mold rash symptoms include:
-small fluid-filled bumps
-sensitive skin that may be painful to touch
By breathing in mold spores, allergic reactions can occur. Visiting a medical specialist can help when diagnosing the problem.
How Do You Treat Mold Exposure On The Skin?
Mold exposure can be a potentially dangerous problem if it is not treated. If an individual has been or thinks they have been exposed to mold, there are certain remedies.
Home remedies for treating exposed skin can include lotions or topicals. Aloe vera can soothe painful or itchy rashes. While this may not cure potential allergies, the symptoms can be eased with the right cream.
Using a cold washcloth against the skin can reduce inflammation and swelling. This is particularly helpful directly after the rash is noticed. By holding the compress for twenty minutes at a time, this treatment can be used several times in a row.
Medication is also frequently used. Skin that has been exposed to mold may need antibiotics if it becomes infected. Antibiotics will help fight infection, but may be prescribed for a number of days. A physician can help prescribe the right antibiotic for the rash.
Cortisone creams can be obtained through prescription or purchased at a local drug store. Cortisone creams manage swelling and redness as well as pain or itch. Medications that can also be found over-the-counter include Benadryl and other antihistamines. These can help ease the symptoms of an allergic reaction to mold.
Mold exposure can cause severe reactions. If the skin rash covers a large part of the body, this can be cause for concern. Fevers, painful blisters, and infections are signs that a physician is needed. Over-the-counter treatment options or homer remedies may not fix all skin conditions resulting from mold.
Skin irritation from mold can be prevented. Identifying mold inside the home is the first step to preventing future skin conditions or allergies. Particularly harmful mold will be black and can grow into a round shape.
Strong cleaning products can get rid of existing mold but must be used as directed. While using these products, the room must have circulation with clean air.
To prevent future mold growth from happening, humidity levels should be kept to a minimum. Free-flowing air is recommended. If there are any leaks or damp areas inside the walls, these must be fixed before eradicating existing mold.
Skin rashes are a common outcome of mold exposure. Upon noticing either the mold itself or the rash, skin must be thoroughly washed and treated. While not all individuals will experience mold allergies, skin irritation can happen in varying degrees. Call us at 205-352-9141.