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5 Causes of Skin Rashes

rashes

Q I have had a reoccurring rash on my forearms and elbows, which I haven’t had since I was a baby. What do you believe could cause such rashes? Can stress exacerbate it or could it be to do with my environment? How can I find out? — Amy, Bryon Bay, Australia

A Skin problems such as rashes may be aggravated by numerous factors, including stress, food allergies, diet and environment. A healthcare professional should be able to help determine the most likely causes for your condition and provide guidance for the most suitable treatments if stress, food allergies or diet are thought to be contributing factors.

If these are not thought to be contributing factors or if good treatment by your healthcare professional does not help to improve your condition, it may be that your living environment is a contributing factor. Skin problems may be associated with exposure to mold or certain chemicals, including household and skincare products and volatile compounds released from hot water in the shower.

In sensitive individuals, they may also be associated with exposure to electromagnetic radiation from electrical and wireless appliances.

So, think about whether or not exposure to any of these environmental factors changed around the time that you again experienced your skin problems. For example, were the indoor environments where you spend the most time affected by flooding or water leaks just before your symptoms started? It is reasonable to assume that building materials that have been damp for at least 48 hours may be supporting mold proliferation.

In sensitive individuals, they may also be associated with exposure to electromagnetic radiation from electrical and wireless appliances.

Fitting a six-stage shower filter to your shower head will help to remove volatile compounds from the shower water. Be aware that these filters will also slow the rate of water flow through the shower head.

If you are not sure whether or not your environment may be a contributing factor or if you simply want peace of mind regarding the health of your indoor environment, assessment by a qualified building biologist may help to identify any concerns and provide recommendations for reducing exposure to them.

Marianne Baker is Director of Building Wellness Pty Ltd. As a practicing building biologist, she has conducted building assessments throughout Australia. She has holds qualifications in building biology and natural therapies and has lectured at the Australian College of Environmental Studies. She is President of the Australasian Society of Building Biologists and is also a member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society.

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