Silk could be part of the answer of treating eczema effectively

If you think about it, your underclothes are the clothes in most frequent contact with your skin. They protect you from the outside world and absorb heat and moisture from the skin to keep you feeling normal.

What happens if your clothes irritate your skin?  You know what it feels like when you put on clothing that makes you itch? Your skin sends you a nagging reminder and you can’t wait to get home and take the offending garment off!
Now imagine what it feels like when your skin is so sensitive that all your clothes make you feel like that! You can’t take your skin off for relief.
Welcome to the world of the eczema patient. It’s a common problem. Irritated skin causes itching, which leads to scratching and more skin damage and all this can be made worse by some of the irritating characteristics of underclothing.
For many years, the standard response of doctors and nurses has been “wear cotton”. You see and hear it everywhere but there’s absolutely no evidence to support that recommendation and there is now a significant body of evidence to show that it is not the best way forward. Cotton is made from rough ended fibres, about an inch-long which twist when they get damp (under normal wear conditions) and that twist can irritate the skin. Cotton also gets damp quickly and stays damp as it does not get rid of moisture from its fibres quickly. Damp clothes can pull heat from the wearer, resulting in them feeling cold and shivery. When I was a boy Scout (many years ago) we were told never to go hiking in denim jeans as they stuck to your skin when they got wet and you quickly developed hypothermia and could die on the moors! Denim is cotton.
However, there is a better alternative. Research carried out over the past 15 years and published in numerous medical journals has confirmed that underclothes made from pure fibroin silk is a significantly better choice than cotton in helping patients with sensitive skin conditions when worn continuously. In one study, conducted over 2 years, children wearing DermaSilk were compared to children wearing identically styled cotton underwear.

After 2 years of almost continuous use the children wearing DermaSilk had used 60% less topical steroids than their cotton wearing counterparts – reflecting a significant drop in flare frequency and severity.
There’s a few pointers to successful use of silk clothing:
• Continuous use is a must. Any regression back to cotton underwear will trigger the irritation experienced in the past. Stick to the silk
• Don’t use shop bought silk. This is not anti-microbiologically protected and can lead to an increase in bacteria on the skin
• Thin applications of light emollients are best. Clean Silk on Clean Skin is important as the clothes need direct contact with the skin to work. Allow creams to absorb into the skin for a few minutes before putting on the silk clothing
• Wash it carefully, as per the instructions on the pack Use a natural laundry powder. With care, these clothes will last as long as normal underwear. Many children actually grow out of them
• Finally, wear whatever you like over the top of the underwear. They are designed to fit under whatever you want to wear – even to the point of being neutral colour. We don’t add dyes of any sort – it would only be gilding the lily.
It’s not just eczema patients where DermaSilk has been shown to be clinically better than cotton. Other studies have confirmed similar effects in gynaecological conditions such as Lichen Sclerosus, lichen simplex and recurrent thrush all showing a better effect than when wearing cotton.
It’s time for that outdated and invalid medical recommendation to change!
Author: Chris Steeples Managing Director Espere Health Ltd
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