Eczema sufferers sought for silk clothing trial

Three hundred young eczema sufferers are needed to take part in a new clinical study to test the effect of wearing silk clothing on their condition.

Volunteers are being sought from Portsmouth/Isle of Wight, Nottingham, Cambridge and London areas. Participants should be aged between one and 15, and have moderate to severe eczema.

Children enrolled in the study will be put into one of two groups. The first will receive three sets of silk underwear – either a bodysuit and leggings or vest and leggings, depending on the child’s age. The children will be asked to wear the clothing underneath normal clothes for six months. Children who do not receive the clothing straight away will be given the clothing to try for themselves for two months after the first six months of the trial has finished. Throughout the trial, all the children will be free to continue with their usual eczema treatments, such as moisturisers and steroids.

Each child will be enrolled in the trial for eight months and will be asked to attend their local recruiting hospital on four occasions. Parents will be asked to complete a weekly questionnaire.

It is the first first large-scale independent, randomised controlled trial of silk clothing for the management of eczema in children to establish whether or not these products live up to the claims that are currently being made.

“Most eczema treatments only suppress the condition and may have side-effects,” says the University of Portsmouth’s Professor Tara Dean, from the School of Health Sciences and Social Work. “Silk clothing, which is comfortable to wear, is thought to have protective and antimicrobial properties. However, existing research evidence is limited to a few small studies. If this research can show that these garments provide additional benefits, then this would be an important finding.”

Recruitment began in November 2013 and will continue until May 2015.

Clothing has been donated by Espère Healthcare Ltd and DreamSkin Health Ltd.

For further information or to apply, please contact Jane Grundy, the Research Nurse at Isle of Wight NHS Trust, on 01983 534178 or email

NB. Some manufacturers of silk clothing products can be found in our Eczema Directory.

First published January 2014




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