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Author: Dr Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand,1997.
The proper name for the house dust mite is Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus. The mite can only be seen with a microscope. It is a common and significant cause of allergy. It may make the nose run or cause sneezing and wheezing. In some patients, it also contributes to exacerbations of atopic dermatitis at any time of the year.
The dust mite thrives in poorly ventilated and humid homes. However, it can be found in even the cleanest house – deep in carpets and curtains and in the seams of mattresses.
The dust mite may be found in high concentrations in pillows and duvets, especially when made from wool, cotton and artificial fibres.
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