Wearing superfine Merino wool next to the skin is therapeutic, and can offer natural relief to those suffering from eczema, according to a study.
Research funded by The Woolmark Company has demonstrated benefits of wearing superfine Merino, read a statement.
According to the report, dermatology trials have shown that adult and infant eczema sufferers have reduced symptoms when wearing superfine Merino wool garments next to the skin.
The report states: “When worn next to skin, superfine Merino wool works as a dynamic buffer, helping maintain a more stable humidity and temperature in the micro-climate between the fabric and the skin.
“Wool garments are the most breathable of the common apparel types, absorbing and releasing twice as much moisture vapour as cotton and thirty times as much as polyester. It appears superfine Merino wool acts like a second skin for these people whose ‘first’ skin is too dry.”
The theory that wool’s unique moisture management could benefit eczema sufferers was put to the test in a twelve-week clinical trial, which confirmed the beneficial findings of wearing superfine Merino wool garments with a mean fiber diameter less than or equal to 17.5 micron.
A study of approximately 40 babies and young children under 3 years old, at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) in Melbourne, showed significant advantages of superfine Merino wool base-layers rather than cotton in improving the symptoms of eczema.
Published in the British Journal of Dermatology, the study concluded that traditional management guidelines classing all wool-based clothing as irritants should be modified to include superfine Merino wool as a recommended clothing choice in childhood atopic dermatitis.
“A major focus of The Woolmark Company’s Fiber Advocacy investment program is validating the health and wellbeing benefits of wool products,” said Stuart McCullough, Managing Director of The Woolmark Company.
“With eight per cent of consumers not buying wool because they consider it itchy, it is important to challenge these myths and champion wool’s therapeutic benefits. Sponsoring these clinical trials and publishing the findings in credible peer-reviewed medical journals not only promotes wool’s wellness benefits and also provides eczema sufferers with a natural alternative to traditional treatment,” McCullough added.