Is your rash from mold exposure?
Studies have shown that more than 50% of people exposed to mold developed a rash or other skin symptoms. Mold has also been connected to a number of allergic and respiratory effects -including skin rashes.
The air inside your home is full of all sorts of pollens, dust, fungi, and molds. These contaminants make their way from the outdoors through open doors, windows, and vents. It’s completely normal.
But what shouldn’t be in your home is dampness. Dampness in a building causes mold growth. And mold can cause skin rashes – among many other adverse health issues.
Mold is responsible for a number of negative health effects. The strange symptoms you’ve been experiencing:
- nasal congestion
- throat irritation
- eye irritation
- skin rashes
are not in your head. Mold is the cause.
Are your symptoms from toxic mold? Take our questionnaire to find out!
Dampness creates mold and mold causes skin rashes
Your eyes and nose are not the most reliable way to tell if there is water damage in a building. All too often, dampness and the resulting mold growth occurs in areas you can’t see. This includes parts of your home like attics, crawl spaces, or HVAC systems.
To accurately find out whether your home has water damage, you need specialized testing. I go into detail about how to accurately test your home for mold here.
How mold causes skin rashes (and other symptoms)
The symptoms of mold sickness are a mile long. And if you include the condition known as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) the list grows longer still. CIRS is a common cause of complex, poorly understood medical conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
Here are some of the symptoms caused by mold:
- Nasal congestion
- Throat irritation
- Eye irritation
- Skin rashes or irritation
Mold and the skin – gut connection
Do you know what the treatment for severe acne is?
Your doctor will often prescribe antibiotics, like tetracycline, as the first line of treatment. Antibiotics affect your gut, which is strongly connected to the health of your skin.
In the early ’90s and ’00s, people with moderate to severe acne were prescribed Accutane. 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 (IBD).
Another gut and skin connection is leaky gut. Patients with acne can have elevated levels of something called lipopolysaccharides (LPS). High LPS levels indicate you have a leaky gut.
Celiac disease affects the small intestine. However, it can appear as a skin condition known as dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). In fact, more than 10% of celiac disease shows up as a skin issue.
In DH, patients will often have zero symptoms commonly associated with celiac disease – bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain. Instead, the most common symptom is an incredibly itchy skin rash. Learn more about how gluten causes skin rashes!
How mold exposure causes skin rashes
As you can see, you don’t need to touch mold to develop a skin rash.
Instead, skin rashes from mold will often result from an internal infection. You may not even know you’ve had a mold exposure. You may just experience a skin rash and not know where it came from.
If you’re dealing with an unexplained skin rash, follow these two steps:
- Test your home for mold
- Make an appointment with an allergist to test for a mold allergy
If you are allergic to mold, a skin prick test measuring your IgE immune system response will likely test positive. Other immune system tests like IgG and IgM can also point in the direction of a mold allergy.
However, if you are not allergic to mold, you will need to dig deeper.
What to do if you think mold is causing your skin rashes?
Regardless of what your mold symptom(s) may be, the first step in treatment is to remove yourself from the water-damaged building. Test your home and your workplace to determine if either building has been water-damaged. I go into the details of how to properly test for mold in this blog post.
For 75% of the population, the simple act of removing yourself from the moldy environment will improve your skin rashes. The other 25% of the population has what I call a moldy gene – it prevents their body from expelling the mold toxins.
Those of you with the moldy genes will need a far more involved treatment plan to alleviate your skin rashes. Working with a mold-literate practitioner will be absolutely essential!
Now, I want to hear from you!
What effect did mold have on your skin?
Leave your answers in the comments section below!