Germs in your bed sheets can give you allergies

Posted by Lakshmi Gopal on Wed, Feb 29, 2012  
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We often put off washing or changing our bed sheets till the next week or the next. Now, how often do you really change your bed sheets? The friends I had in university would not change their sheets, pillow covers, or wash their towels till they became obviously evil smelling. No wonder a couple of them always suffered from skin allergies and fungal infections.


But let’s leave the poor students alone. Do grown up people with families take out the time to have a look at what might be hiding between their sheets? If we put some well-used bed sheets under a microscope, we would be in for a surprise!


Lo and behold - dust mites – the microscopic bugs that feed on dead skin cells. A dirty bed is their natural habitat as it has all the nourishment needed for mites to live out whole life cycles. They live, die and reproduce there. Dead skin cells (about a million come off everyday), bodily fluids (let me not describe that), food crumbs, all make for tasty snacks for the mites.


You must wash your bed sheets on a regular basis. This means twice a week if you have children walking in from the playground and jumping onto your bed. One wash per week is good enough if you live in comparatively undisturbed circumstances!


It’s also important to wash your pillows (apart from the pillow covers) once every six months. Dirty pillows are home to yeast, mould and bacteria that can trigger asthma, bronchitis or diarrhea. If you have never washed your pillow, please throw it away and get a new one.


Bed sheets should especially be washed everyday in case family members who are ill, are sleeping in them. Finally, always follow washing instructions to take good care of your sheets.


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