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16-04-2012 | Immunology | Article

Silver-loaded cellulose fabric improves symptoms of atopic dermatitis


Free abstract

MedWire News: Researchers have developed a silver-loaded cellulose fabric with incorporated seaweed that helps improve symptoms of atopic dermatitis (AD).

Beom Joon Kim (Chung-Ang University, Seoul, South Korea) and colleagues say that the fabric, known as SkinDoctor (Ventex Co., Ltd, Korea), "could be useful in the maintenance and treatment of mild to moderate AD."

Carefully chosen clothing is important for minimising irritation in AD patients with disrupted skin. Kim and team recruited 12 people (aged 6-35 years) with mild-to-moderate AD to test the efficacy of clothes made with SkinDoctor fabric compared with 100% cotton.

SkinDoctor was designed to maintain the correct moisture level in the skin, provide relief for those with sensitive skin, and to have an antibacterial effect.

The participants were given two sets of long-sleeved tops and leggings that they were asked to wear during the day as underwear and at night to replace normal nightwear for 4 weeks. Half of each garment was made of SkinDoctor fabric and half of 100% cotton.

As reported in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, contact with the SkinDoctor fabric significantly reduced the modified SCORing Atopic Dermatitis (mSCORAD) index from a mean of 30.8 at baseline to 19.5 at 4 weeks. By comparison, contact with the 100% cotton fabric reduced the mSCORAD index to 25.3 at 4 weeks.

In addition, transepidermal water loss (TEWL) was also significantly lower with SkinDoctor than with cotton.

The patients' subjective impressions supported the findings, with 66.7% versus 25.0% rating their skin as being "improved" from baseline at 4 weeks with SkinDoctor and cotton, respectively, 25.0% versus 50.0% rating their skin as "unchanged," and 8.3% versus 25.0% rating their skin as "worse."

The team notes that no adverse reactions to Skin Doctor were observed during the study.

Kim and co-authors concede that the study could have been larger and that blinding of patients was difficult due to the different coloration of the SkinDoctor and cotton fabrics.

However, they say that the "results suggest that SkinDoctor is a beneficial fabric that can improve the comfort of patients with AD."

By Helen Albert

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