If you have eczema, you're far from being alone. This is where you can hear other patients' experiences of living with and managing eczema. If you’d like to share your own story, please get in touch with us!
100% cotton clothing is best
In my experience with my two children who have eczema, I have found 100% cotton clothing to be the best choice. Also when buying new clothes, the colours red and navy blue have irritated their skin. This was especially true when they were infants and toddlers. We sometimes bought their clothes at "consignment shops" where used clothing in good condition is sold. The "newness", chemicals, and dyes in the clothes had been washed out several times and did not seem to irritate their sensitive skin. We also had to avoid elastic in sleeves and legs of clothing that would irritate the skin. For socks, buying socks that had the highest cotton content possible helped. As infants and toddlers it was also best if someone held them to put a cotton blanket between my child and the one holding them. This would put a barrier between their skin and that person's perfumes, detergent, fabric softener, and non-cotton clothing. This seemed to be of tremendous help.
Polyester tags and thread
For years I have fought the "polyester tag" battle, ripping them, trying to gently remove them, and often just throwing the garment into the trash. Often it is not possible to tell when purchasing a garment just what the fibre content is, particularly the thread and the tags.Why does the public remain so uninformed about the skin abrasiveness of polyester, in tags, and in garments, particularly those seams overcast in polyester thread OR poly-cotton thread? Infant pyjamas of 100% polyester should be outlawed. Daily cortisone creams on infant skin eczema that I suspect is caused by those hideous pjs should not be necessary, and I see it all the time. Fire-retardent garments were promoted for older toddlers; infants do not play with matches!Even 100 % cotton garments are often sewn with Poly or Poly-cotton thread! Thank you for offering the opportunity to communicate. I have been so frustrated in attempts to find simple TRULY 100% cotton or nylon garments. It is almost IMPOSSIBLE to find 100% thread for personal sewing, now that cotton fabric is again available.
Cotton sleepsuits with mits
Matalan do cotton sleepsuits with fold over mits up to 24 months - £4 for a pack of three - whilst I love Cotton Comfort clothes these are a great find - don't know how they wash yet but fold over mits are fantastic!
Sarah, Holmfirth, UK
I normally go around the house and garden completely in the nude. However during the Winter 2004/05 for the first time in ten years, I wore clothes at home virtually continuously and it was not long before I developed quite severe seborrheoic eczema with the worst areas being my lower legs and elbows, although I did have small areas on my upper thighs, chest and waist.
In the past I had noticed that if I wore clothes for more than a couple of days I developed spots on my legs, which would disappear once I went around nude again. On this occasion I developed spots around my ankles, which my doctor and I both initially thought were cat flee bites, but leaving them untreated they progressed to full blown eczema: I have since discovered that acne type spots can be a symptom of eczema. I had been prescribed various steroid creams, but all they did was exacerbate the condition. I believe that clothes encourage yeast spores, which it is thought may be factor, to multiply and when the skin become sensitive the clothing acts like an abrasive. There has been a marked improvement once I have dispensed with clothes and just applied moisturisers such as Dermol lotion. In my case sun and air seems to be the best solution. I have not experienced any serious itching for some time and since I have been able to spend time in the sun, my eczema has been limited to just a "dirty" appearance to by shins and some red spots on my chests, which are decreasing almost daily. I have resolved not to wear clothes at home unless absolutely necessary: fortunately most of my friends, relations and neighbours accept my lifestyle and in future any visitor will have to express a strong objection in order to make me dress. If I am away from home, I find that just an hour nude in my room will help, but I am aware that there is a fine balance and it could flare up.