Miracle Fiber Merino Wool: A Relief for Eczema
Often misunderstood as a common childhood skin problem, eczema is a chronic skin condition effecting the physical and psychological well-being of its sufferers. In this article we explore what causes eczema, its debilitating effects and how merino wool products help to ease the symptoms of this uncomfortable condition.
What is Eczema?
Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a chronic autoimmune pruritic condition that causes itchy patchy and inflamed skin lesions. Skin on the flexors such as behind the knees and elbows, and where skin tends to crease, are often more susceptible to flaking eczema legions. Eczema is traditionally associated with children but newer researches indicate that over 40% of cases in adults are adult onset. Moreover, it’s the condition effects 1-3 percent of people in Europe and the US.
How Does Eczema Present?
Eczema presents itself in the form of red flaky patches which are extremely itchy. Sufferers often feel an overwhelming need to scratch the flaking skin for relief, but this can cause bleeding, infection and more flaking.
What Causes Eczema?
Eczema is thought to be caused by both environmental and genetic factors, and/or a combination of these factors. In genetic causation theory, sufferers are deficient in a protein called filaggrin. Filaggrin deficiency leads to dry skin. From an environmental perspective, eczema can be caused when the body releases histamines triggered by exposure to skin allergens such as household cleaners, washing detergent, perfumes, lotions or very hot or cold weather. There is also a working theory that those residing in hard water areas, where calcium carbonate is in the water supply, may also be at risk.
Why is Adult Eczema so Debilitating?
To function and lead our best self-life, we all need good shut-eye, but sleep disturbances are frequent among those with eczema. Furthermore, the scratching of itchy skin while sleeping or during the day, can lead to exposure to infections, viruses, and permanent scarring. This in turn leads to further sickness, medical expenses and time off work; all factors which influence people’s quality of life. We interviewed some adult eczema sufferers and all agreed that the condition can also be embarrassing due to its appearance, and at times they have felt their self-confidence drop. In addition to the physical and psychological impacts, planning anything such as a vacation or even attending a social function is a worry due to unpredictable eczema flare ups. Additionally, activities such as swimming are nearly impossible due to chlorine in pools or sea salt stinging already painful open lesions.
What are the Treatments for Eczema?
There is no cure for eczema, but the condition is treatable. Topical steroid creams are often prescribed for short term use (maximum of two weeks), as long term use can lead to thinning of the skin. Warm, not hot showers and baths with oats or baking soda provide some relief to the chronic itching. Moisturizing is key as the skin legions cannot hold water, using a fragrance free skin emollient will keep skin nourished and promote healing. For washing clothes, using a detergent specially targeted for sensitive skin is also recommended. In terms of clothing, natural materials are a must, as these allow the skin to breathe. In the past, silk and cotton were primarily suggested to eczema sufferers. However, a recent study found that silk is has no demonstrable benefit. In contrast to merino wool which is now recognized as a comfortable and symptom relieving fiber for eczema suffers.
Why is Merino Wool Good For Eczema?
Recent dermatological trials in the US and Australia boast about the healing properties of merino wool for eczema sufferers. This is understood to be because of merino wool's ability to absorb and release double as much moisture as cotton, in effect treating and preventing further skin dryness. In essence, merino wool also acts like a second skin to protect skin which is dry and scarred. For example, hot humid or very cold weather are known to provoke eczema flare-ups but as merino wool intelligently adapts to temperatures, helping to stabilize humidity or coldness levels, the potential triggers of humidity or coldness are reduced for those wearing merino wool. Furthermore, merino wool is anti-microbial, meaning it may help prevent the onset of further bacterial or fungal skin infections, often experienced by eczema sufferers.
Merino Wool is not ordinary wool. Its fibers are superfine and crimped, making them incredibly soft. Merino wool fibers are 16.5 - 24 micrometer thick compared to regular wool which is anywhere between 37 and 40 micrometers. Merino wool is soft, not scratchy – many mistake all wool to be created equally when in fact, cheaper wool may irritate the skin due to its high density, in contrast to the suppleness and therapeutic qualities of merino wool. At Giesswein, we use the finest virgin Merino Wool for our shoes and clothing, making them ideal attire for those with eczema.
Top Eczema Banishing Picks from Giesswein
The Sven/Svenja jacket.
A versatile and stylish athlesiure piece which can be worn all year. The Sven for men or Svenja for women features contrasting decorative stitching, spacious pockets —and a subtle Giesswein logo. Perfect for the gym, lounging around, or coffee with friends.
Merino Wool Sweater
Expel dry skin this autumn and winter with an ultrafine merino wool sweater! Available in a round or v neck style, this merino wool sweater surrounds the upper body with skin soothing properties. The classic preppy design means this piece never goes out of fashion.
Perfect on days when eczema behind the knees or on the back is flaring-up. The Merino Slip-On mean you can slip your shoes on without bending down. The breathable and antibacterial wool properties also means your feet remain cool and odor free, all the time experiencing the Giesswein comfort guarantee.
Merino wool can't get rid of eczema, but it can potentially relieve your symptoms, making your daily life more bearable. From socks and slippers to sweaters and jackets to street shoes, you can pretty much find it all.
It's best to take a look for yourself - you're sure to find what you're looking for. Let the miracle fiber Merino convince you!