Photo: Jeff Russell, Ridge Merino
A new study, published in the British Journal of Dermatology concluded that superfine merino wool may actually reduce eczema symptoms in children.
The clinical trial involved 39 children aged from four weeks to three years over a 12-week period. The participants wore superfine merino wool garments against the skin for six weeks before changing to cotton, and vice versa.
"Despite limited evidence, woollen clothing has traditionally been considered an irritant that should be avoided by children/people individuals with eczema. However wool fibres come in a range of diameters and the superfine wool garments used in the study did not cause irritation and were well tolerated by patients," researchers said.
During the study, when children switched to wool after wearing cotton, they showed a significant decrease in eczema severity whereas eczema worsened when those wore wool changed to cotton.
"When comparing with cotton, there are inherent differences in fibre properties, [Merino] wool's greater ability to transfer moisture vapour and heat than other major apparel fibres enable it to maintain a more stable microclimate between the skin and garment," said lead author of the study, Associate Professor John Su from Monash University and Murdoch Children's Research Institute.
One mother whose child participated in the study noted "....that merino wool garments tended to allow for better absorption of moisture, and that this protected (my son's) skin from dryness and improved his eczema."
This is the first study of its kind to examine the effects of superfine merino wool on childhood eczema.
Want to learn more about the benefits of Merino wool? Check out our overview on this amazing fiber. And stay tuned for some new Ridge product developments for the littlest adventurers coming soon...
"When comparing with cotton, there are inherent differences in fibre properties, [Merino] wool's greater ability to transfer moisture vapour and heat than other major apparel fibres enable it to maintain a more stable microclimate between the skin and garment." - Associate Professor John Su, Monash University and Murdoch Children's Research Institute.
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