Eczema is a skin disorder that develops in 10-20 percent of all infants, according to University of Rochester Medical Center. As they grow up, about half of those infants will outgrow the condition between the ages of 5-15, but that still leaves many people who have continued trouble with eczema into adulthood.
Some small studies have shown that wearing silk underclothing helps soothe eczema symptoms. However, researchers at University of Nottingham wanted to know if there would be evidence in a larger test group that wearing silk clothing can help provide eczema relief.
Led by Professor Kim Thomas, from the Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology, researchers are recruiting 300 children from the UK to participate in a clinical trial that tests to see if silk clothing has a place in the treatment of eczema.
Thomas told Science Daily, "there have been some 'impressive' claims recently promoting specialist silk clothing as a new treatment option for people with eczema.”
“We are carrying out the first large-scale independent, randomised controlled trial of silk clothing for the management of eczema in children to establish whether or not these new products live up to the claims that are currently being made."
Children between the ages of 1-15 are being asked to volunteer from five different areas of the UK. Two silk clothing distributors have donated clothing for the clinical trial.
Researchers plan to compare two groups of children. One will wear silk clothing and receive normal eczema care, and the other will receive normal eczema care alone. Parents will complete weekly questionnaires at home to track eczema symptoms, and how often the silk clothing is worn.
The silk clothing group will receive three sets of silk underwear. Depending on their age, they will receive either a bodysuit and leggings, or a vest and leggings. The children will be asked to wear the silk clothing under their regular clothes for six months.
After the first six months of the trial is completed, the children who did not receive silk clothing will be offered silk clothing to try for the next two months.