April 19, 2017

How Organic Cotton Clothing Can Help Eczema

By Verena Barthel
How Organic Cotton Clothing Can Help Eczema

In today's blog we are focusing on how dressing our kids in organic cotton clothing can help to relieve symptoms of eczema. By avoiding wearing clothing that irritates the skin, we can help reduce or eliminate the nasty symptoms of this ailment.

What is Eczema?

Eczema is very common in babies & young children, affecting up to one in five. It manifests as areas of dry, cracked, red, sore, skin, which can be very itchy and uncomfortable for babies. It sometimes even affects their sleep. Eczema most commonly appears at the elbows, knees, hands, face, scalp and around the neck. But can affect any part of the body. It can range from being very mild, with just a few small areas of dry, occasionally itchy skin, to very severe, with large areas of inflamed, cracked skin which is extremely itchy.

We do not yet fully understand what causes eczema. Often babies with eczema can grow out of the condition as they get older. There is no “cure” as such but there are some things you can do which help to relieve symptoms. The two things most strongly recommended by medical professionals are to avoid wearing clothing which irritates the skin and to avoid the use of harsh detergents and soaps. It is important to ensure that only very mild products are used on the skin of little ones. Today we focus on how the use of organic products can further enhance the benefits of both these recommendations.

How Organic Cotton Clothing Can Help

Using soft, natural organic cotton for your baby & children's clothing and bedding can be very helpful in relieving eczema symptoms. Organic cotton clothing is softer and more breathable than regular cotton. This makes it a better choice for babies & children with eczema and sensitive skin. Because no chemicals are used in the farming, production or dying of organic cotton, no pesticide residues are present in the finished product. In clothing produced by non-organic farming methods, these toxic chemicals can remain as a residue and can irritate the skin. Babies & children are particularly sensitive to anything that comes into contact with their skin. This is why it is so important to choose ultra-soft, chemical-free organic cotton clothing for them.

Avoid Synthetic Fibers

For those with sensitive skin or eczema, synthetic fabrics may cause itching and rashes due to irritation or an allergy. Synthetic fibers don’t allow the skin to breathe properly. This can cause sweat to build up on the skin, which is a common eczema trigger. Synthetic fabrics, such as nylon, polyester and rayon are most often made from chemically produced fibers. These chemicals can be absorbed through our skin, particularly if the skin is open as is often the case with eczema.  For these reasons, it’s best for anyone, especially children, with eczema, allergies or sensitive skin, to avoid using synthetic fabrics as they can further aggravate these conditions.

When organic cotton, breathable eczema clothing is combined with a good natural eczema cream, the skin will usually calm itself in less severe cases. But when a more serious treatment is necessary, consider locking in moisture by wrapping wet clothing over a layer of cream for an extended period of time. This is called wet wrap therapy and it is very effective for immediate relief, but it is not a permanent solution. For a permanent solution, consider an elimination diet and working on healing the gut.