The 'winter itch season' is particularly bad when temperatures fall and conditions become windier. The key cause of increased 'itch' is predominately:
o changes in the interior and exterior climate.
o central heating dries out the air in the home.
o cold wet conditions penetrate the skin.
o the body's temperature mechanism is difficult to balance.
o the 'itch-scratch' cycle in eczema flare ups.
Choice of clothing is an important element in controlling eczema. Whilst cotton has in the past been the fabric of choice, a recent breakthrough in the manufacture of knitted silk underwear impregnated with an antibacterial Microbial Shield, has shown in published clinical trials to be much more effective than cotton in breaking the 'itch-scratch' cycle.
This specially treated fabric, developed in Italy, clearly shows that silk has a much better moisture absorbency factor than cotton and it also retains better temperature controlling capabilities than other fabrics. A new range of eczema underwear, worn close to the skin has been launched in the UK. This range is designed for infants, children and adults by DermaSilk and further information on use of these garments as part of an overall eczema treatment program can be found on http://www.dermasilk.co.uk
BODY TEMPERATURE CONTROL
Excessive moisture loss is a common feature of all eczema patients. Unlike cotton, DermaSilk absorbs excess moisture without the fabric feeling damp and therefore allows better control of body temperature, keeping it cool when it is warm and warm when it is cool. This is important for maintaining the moisture balance of the skin. It is this balance that dominates skin reactions and the importance of moisturizing the skin frequently and following a prescribed treatment program is therefore essential.
Whilst everyone appreciates the value of central heating, it can be a major skin irritant. It is better to keep a home slowly cooler, to use humidifiers to counter-balance dry air conditions and to bathe or shower less frequently. The use of DermaSilk, as part of an overall treatment program, will then reduce the itching and scratching. A recent small clinical trial from Switzerland even suggested that there was no significant difference between the therapeutic effect of using DermaSilk alone and using a topical corticosteroid with cotton clothing. The implications of this finding are interesting because parents continue to have great concerns about using stereoids on children.