Archive for March, 2010

Silk protects against eczema

Eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis) is a very common disease. In the United States, scientific studies show that at least 7% percent of children have been diagnosed with eczema. In fact, because it is not always diagnosed, eczema may be far more widespread, and most sources agree that the condition has been on the rise in developed countries for some time.

Silk is a very soft material. It is like a second skin. When you or your child has eczema, silk has a demonstrated effect on the healing process. The following two studies from reputable scientific journals documented the positive impact of silk on atopic dermatitis:

British Journal of Dermatology, 2004, Vol. 150, p. 127-131.

This study examined 46 children with eczema. 31 wore silk and 15 wore cotton for one week. Within one week, 83% of the children who wore silk had shown improvement, whereas none of the children wearing cotton had shown any improvement. Parents also reported a reduction in itching and scratching among the children who wore silk.

Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, 2007, p. 1-4, DOI/Google: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2006.00511.x

This study examined 22 children with eczema. One arm was covered with silk and the other with cotton. For 12 weeks in a row, the study documented a reduction of the eczema on the arm with the silk without a comparable reduction on the arm with cotton.

Not all children will experience a reduction in the symptoms of eczema when they wear silk. However, for the children with eczema who do experience relief due to silk, itching and inflammation can be reduced significantly.

It is not known exactly how silk helps to mitigate the symptoms of eczema. However, part of the answer may lay in the fact that the silk threads are very long and smooth and therefore soothing to the skin. (Compared to silk, cotton has very short and rough threads and is relatively abrasive for the skin.) Also, silk helps to regulate skin temperature and absorbs humidity quite effectively. Finally, the cool feeling produced by wearing silk also may reduce itching.

The beauty is that silk does not have any side effects like the corticosteroids most often prescribed as a treatment for atopic dematitis.

As with the silk tested in the abovementioned two studies, the pure silk sold by is knitted and Sericin-free. Further, it is organic and follows the rules of the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard).

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