Every parent of looks for quality and comfort when purchasing clothing for their child. When your child has eczema it also becomes imperative that a parent read the labels and know exactly what type of fiber the clothing is made of as well. Sometimes spending a few minutes preventing skin problems can go a long way towards finding a natural eczema solution.
Two Fiber Types
Clothing fibers can be broken down into two groups: synthetics and naturals.
Synthetics are man-made fibers created from petro-chemicals. While these types of fibers can be more long-lasting and durable, they are often very irritating to the skin. Commonly used synthetic fibers are: nylon, polyester, rayon, and spandex. In almost every instance, where eczema patients are concerned, synthetics should be avoided. The one gray area is polar fleece. Polar fleece is a synthetic material made from a specific polyester product called polyethylene terephthalate. Many parents have reported that their children do not experience negative reactions from polar fleece because it is made in such a way that it is extremely soft on the skin. It may or may not be a problem for your child so use with caution.
Natural fabrics are created from either animal or plant material such as : cotton, wool, linen, cashmere, hemp and silk. Most doctors recommend that eczema patients stick with natural fabrics. We’ll go over each one and the pros and cons.
Wool is not often recommended for eczema patients because it is a common allergen and is often scratchy to the skin. This irritation can lead to eczema flare ups and an increase in symptoms. The downside to this problem is that wool is one of the warmest fibers available and makes for very good winter wear. The good news is that wool can still be utilized as outerwear to provide excellent cold weather protection.
Linen with a very fine weave can be a good, lightweight option for children with eczema. It is a non-allergenic material and gets softer with use making it a comfortable choice for wearing near the skin. Linen is also naturally resistant to staining which is helpful since most eczema patients have to be very careful about which detergents they use for their laundry. As with any material it’s important to pre-wash your linen clothes to remove any loose dyes left in the material. Watch out for rough linens. The rougher weave can lead to scratching of the skin and may cause irritation.
Cashmere is a thick material made from the hair of goats. It feels soft, but because of its ability to trap heat and humidity near the skin it can lead to irritation and flare ups. It is best to avoid this textile.
Hemp is being used for many kinds of fabrics but traditionally has been viewed as too coarse for eczema patients to handle. But this might not be true. Most hemp clothing is offered by clothiers who value organic materials, devoid of harsh chemicals and dyes. Some eczema patients report that hemp clothing can actually reduce the occurrence of flare ups and prevent them in the future.
Cotton has long been one of the best choices in skin-gentle clothing. With its light, airy texture, softness, and multiple textures, it is by far the most adaptable fabric for eczema patients. It is soft enough to wear near the skin without causing irritation, and can be used as the layer nearest the skin while layering for cold weather conditions.
Silk has long been used by winter sports enthusiast for its natural ability to wick moisture away from the skin, which helps to prevent irritation and chafing of sensitive skin. Despite this natural benefit silk hasn’t always been used by eczema patients because of the irritant, sericin, which also occurs naturally in silk. New silk textiles are being produced in such a way that removes this irritant and make silk a wonderful choice for clothing layers worn next to the skin. Its silky, smooth texture, natural wicking, and lightweight feel make it one of the perfect fabrics for eczema patients.
While no one wishes for anyone to struggle with eczema, if one must confront this skin disorder, now is one of the better times to face it. With so many clothing options available to individuals now and the ability to create new hypo-allergenic fabrics, it is easier than ever to prevent flare ups. Add in the use of naturally healing creams such as EczaMate and the ability to control the symptoms of this disease become the most manageable they have ever been.