Many children across the world suffer from Eczema. One of the more commonly known triggers of eczema is the diet of children. However, did you know that children’s clothing also poses a risk of triggering eczema?
Before diving into why children’s clothing can be a trigger of eczema, let’s first understand what eczema is, and if eczema is the same as atopic dermatitis.
What is eczema?
Eczema can be referred to as the skin condition that is caused by inflammation and sensitivity. Atopic dermatitis, which mainly affects children and infants, is the most common form of eczema. While the exact cause of atopic dermatitis has still not been fully determined, it is believed to be associated with an abnormal immune system function which responses to certain triggers such as irritants or allergens.
There is a large variation of symptoms of atopic dermatitis, which may include red, itchy, dry and inflamed skin. In more severe cases of eczema, one’s skin may become swollen, blistered, and may even bleed. The symptoms usually occur on the neck, hands, feet and face, but it is possible that it can appear on any part of the body.
New clothes can potentially trigger atopic dermatitis in children through various mechanisms. One-way new clothes can trigger eczema is through the use of certain dyes or fabrics that may cause allergies or skin irritation. Synthetic fabrics, specifically, may cause irritation and friction against the skin, triggering the symptoms of eczema. Additionally, during the manufacturing process of these new clothes, there may be certain dyes or chemicals used which could trigger or even worsen eczema symptoms.
To help reduce the possibility of eczema being triggered by children’s clothing, here are three tips on how you can handle children’s clothing to combat atopic dermatitis in children:
1. Ensure that there are no dust mites in new clothing through thorough cleaning
Dust mites are one of the key reasons for the triggering of an allergy. It is easy for dust mites to appear on clothing if it is not stored properly. To help eliminate dust mites, you can wash the new clothes in hot water, to be exact, water above 55 degrees Celsius before wearing them. Alternatively, if the clothes are not able to be cleaned with heat, the clothing can be placed into an airtight bag and stored in the freezer for 24 hours. This will freeze the dust mites to death. After 24 hours, take the clothes out of the freezer and wash them with cold water.
2. Cut off clothing labels
Most clothing labels are sewn in sensitive positions such as at the waist or neck. Many times, the labels rub against the skin of children when they run and play, resulting in allergic reactions. To prevent atopic dermatitis from being triggered by children scratching because of the labels, it is recommended for parents to cut off the labels on the clothing and cover the sewn area.
3. Wear costumes with “innerwear”
It is often that many parents will buy costumes or festive clothing for their children to wear. However, most of these clothes are not made of breathable cotton material, therefore, sweat stays on the surface of the skin, easily triggering atopic eczema. Thus, by wearing cotton underwear as a base layer, it can not only help to absorb sweat, but also separate the skin from irritating material, reducing friction between the skin and the clothing.
How can atopic dermatitis be treated?
There are many different treatment methods for atopic dermatitis. This could include the use of oral or topical medications to reduce itching and inflammation, as well as to keep the skin hydrated using moisturizers. If is also recommended to avoid triggers of atopic dermatitis which could worsen symptoms, such as certain types of soaps, fabrics, or food.
The treatment of atopic dermatitis may include the use of topical or oral medications to reduce inflammation and itching, as well as moisturizers to keep the skin hydrated. Avoiding triggers that may exacerbate the symptoms, such as certain foods, soaps, or fabrics, may also be recommended. For an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, it is important to consult a certified healthcare professional.
Patients diagnosed with atopic dermatitis or eczema are more prone to viral skin infections such as herpes simplex virus. This is due to the presence of more open wounds on the patient’s skin. As such, this could worsen their eczema condition, resulting in more severe blisters, and in more serious cases, hospitalisation may be required. In such cases when patients need to go to hospitals for treatment, it is most likely that they may need to wait for a long time at public hospitals to get treated. By having comprehensive medical insurance, parents can afford to send their children to private hospitals so that treatment will be done more quickly. Medical insurance would help alleviate the financial burden on parents of sending their children to private hospitals.