Some fabrics can set off flares, either because they trap heat (polyester), or irritate skin (wool). Stick to 100% cotton, bamboo, or silk clothing as you build your wardrobe.
Keep it Cool
When temps are high, make sure your clothes won’t overheat you. Sweating is one of the most common causes of the itch-and-scratch cycle of eczema. Dress in layers you can take off or put back on as the day heats up and cools. Choose lightweight fabrics that let skin breathe.
Tight clothes are a flare trigger. Wear clothes that fit you well, don’t cause too much friction, and have room to move with you (especially during exercise) so your skin isn’t under pressure.
Wash Before Wearing
Love the smell of a just-bought frock? Your skin may not. New clothes sometimes have chemicals such as flame retardants and formaldehyde left over from the manufacturing process. Give your outfits a good wash before their debut.
Skip the Extras
Remove scratchy tags from clothes and cover seams that bother skin with a strip of silk. Before you buy, check for buttons, trim, necklines, or other extras that might rub you the wrong way.
Dress Well for Workouts
Gear that pulls moisture away from your skin can help keep sweat from irritating you. But it may also feel scratchy, so choose with care. Make sure the gear you wear doesn’t have cuffs or bands that will set off a reaction, too.
When it comes to detergents, fragrance and dyes are not your friend. Check to be sure your laundry aids -- soaps, softeners, dryer sheets -- are free of these additives and safe for sensitve skin.
Avoid Powder Soaps
Liquid detergent dissolves more completely in water, which means it’s less likely to stick around on clothes after you wash them. You can get away with using less than the bottle says you need and still get a good cleaning.
Do an Extra Rinse
For peace of mind, run your wash through an added rinse cycle after you’ve washed it to be sure all the detergent is rinsed out.
Dry Clothes Inside
Clotheslines are eco-friendly, but outside allergens can sneak onto clothes as they dry in the breeze and irritate your skin later on. Use a dryer or find a spot to string up your drying line inside.
IMAGES PROVIDED BY:
National Eczema Society: “Clothing and eczema.”
Yale Medicine: “Eczema and Dry Skin: 5 Tips to Help Kids This Winter.”
American Academy of Dermatology Association: “Eczema: Tips To Help Your Child Feel Better,” “Eczema Types: Atopic Dermatitis: Tips For Coping.”
Eczema Foundation: “Atopic Eczema: Tips For Clothing And Detergent.”
National Eczema Association: “Eczema in Winter,” “Eczema and exercise.”