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Can your clothing make your eczema worse?

By Cynthia Bailey MD.

Can your clothing make your eczema worse?

Clothing can impact the severity of your eczema in 2 different ways. The first trigger is related to the physical factors. Scratchy fabric such as wool will drive you to itch/scratch/itch etc., and your condition will worsen. Synthetic fabrics that don't breathe will cause skin to heat up, increase blood flow and potentially fuel eczema. I recommend soft clothing that breathes such as cotton.

The second danger with clothing is allergens in the fabric. Allergens usually get into fabric during laundering. I stress the importance of using a fragrance-free detergent and enough water to make sure the rinse cycle gets all the soap out. It is helpful to rinse your clothing twice to be sure all detergent residue is removed. I also advise against using fabric softeners and anti-static dryer sheets. These can leave a fragrance residue on clothing, and fragrance is a notorious allergen to hypersensitive eczema-prone skin. When you buy new clothing, the fabric may contain allergens like fabric-sizing chemicals or dyes. It's advisable to wash all new clothing before you first wear it.

For more information, visit our Eczema Index Pages:

Most Popular Products for Treatment of Eczema

1. VaniCream Cleansing Bar (head-to-toe hypoallergenic, dermatologist-trusted skin cleansingfor sensitive skin).
2. VaniCream (Hypoallergenic, richly moisturizing, somewhat heavy feel on the skin that comes from petrolatum).
3. Naturally Best Bar Soap (natural skin cleansing for the entire family. The natural soap making process preserves the deeply hydrating glycerin, making this my go-to cleanser for those wanting entirely natural skin care).
4. Natural Foaming Hand Cleanser (an easy rinse formula to keep at every sink where you wash your hands. Keep the pump container of the Natural Lotion right next to the Cleanser to moisturize your hands during the day after washing).
5. Natural Lotion (made with organic ingredients that are entirely botanically based and hypoallergenic. It is eco-friendly and has a light feel that absorbs nicely into the skin).
6. Natural Face and Body Butter (rich and soothing botanical ingredients that are entirely hypoallergenic, eco-friendly and deeply hydrating).