Unclean pillows cause acne and dust mites

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

dust mites
Nasty dust mites can invade your bed if it’s not kept clean.

Very little can top the feeling of getting in bed after a long day, snuggling up under the covers, and resting your head on a nice fluffy pillow. In fact, you probably have a favorite pillow that’s taken years to get to the precise firmness that fits your head perfectly. Sadly, however, that plush sanctuary might be crawling in bacteria!

As we lay our heads to rest on the same pillow night after night, things like sweat, dead skin cells, drool, dirt, and oil accumulate inside of the feathery headrest. Not only can this messy concoction lead to some serious acne problems, it’s also the perfect host for dust mites – tiny bugs that are part of the spider family. These little critters just love to make themselves at home in the dirt mess inside of pillows, and cause all kinds of health problems. It can be especially dangerous because two thirds of people with allergies tend to be allergic to dust mites.

So, how can we protect ourselves from pillow-plagued nastiness? Well, ideally, you should replace your pillow about every six months. It’s important to find one that is supportive, meaning it fills the empty space between your head and shoulders as you lay down. If it’s too pricy or inconvenient to get a new set of pillows twice a year, or if you absolutely cannot let go of your favorite pillow, then the next best thing to do is wash them thoroughly.

Whether you plan to replace your pillow or not, be sure to protect yourself from those pesky bugs!

Featured image courtesy of Malka Dubrawsky on Flickr. Image of dust mites courtesy of Gilles San Martin.