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Can the clothes I wear make my eczema/psoriasis worse?

If you are currently struggling with a skin condition, this article is for you.

From the time I was diagnosed with psoriasis at 11, no one ever mentioned the importance of the fabrics I chose to wear on my body. Sure I was focused on feeling comfortable and loose clothing was a must so that the clothes didn’t wipe away the greasy creams and ointments I lathered my skin with to simply feel free to move without pain. But I did very quickly realise that the type of material my clothing was made of had the potential to make the psoriasis appear more red, feel itchier and cause extreme pain.

So which fabrics should you avoid? All synthetic/man made fabric. These fabrics are very irritating to sensitive skin and more so to skin rashes. They cause tiny scratches in the skin rash that leads you to feel irritated and so you start scratching your rash which makes it worse.

Secondly these fabrics don’t breathe so the skin feels hot and irritated. Again causing you to feel the need to scratch your skin, resulting in exacerbated lesions.

Fabrics you should choose to wear. Natural fibres are the best. These include cotton, bamboo and linen. Linen is quite a stiff fabric so be mindful that it can perhaps annoy rashes on your body but it’s not because of the fabric but rather the lack of softness it has.

There are some places that sell organic cotton clothing, which is fantastic. BUT if you wash your clothes in standard supermarket laundry detergent, the benefits of wearing organic cotton goes down the drain. Wash your clothes in natural cleaning detergents. There are many around and I have had some people tell me their skin has reacted to natural products too so be super mindful that just because its natural it doesn’t mean that its great for you. Always get a small quantity first and see and you go.

What if you wear a uniform that’s made from synthetic materials? I understand many professions and school uniforms (including stockings) can be very irritating to your skin. If possible and if the season allows for layering, put a thin cotton top underneath your uniform. If stockings are a problem, choose ones with cotton and bamboo in them so there is less synthetic fibres in the stockings and so less irritating. Then of course as soon as you get home, change out of your clothes into something more comfortable. If your skin feels really irritated, have a bath with sea salt or colloidal oatmeal to soothe the irritated skin, put some moisturiser on and put on some soft cotton clothing. I personally loved my PJs for this reason; very comfortable and very comforting too.

If you know of any other natural fibres or places you purchase stylish comfortable clothes let us know in the comments section below. If this is useful please share to your social media buddies as we know, a problem shared is a problem halved. Irene.