We don't need to tell you about the distress that lack of sleep can cause. Everybody in the family suffers if deprived of a decent night's rest so it's vital that every possible measure is taken to help anyone with eczema or sensitive skin enjoy the cool relaxing comfort of appropriate bedding and sleepwear.
Cotton or bamboo fibre are ideal
Fabrics of man-made fibres such as nylon and polyester, as well as wool, often irritate the skin, and if you have eczema they can make your skin incredibly hot and itchy. Similarly, although the anti-bacterial properties of pure silver would seem ideal for eczema and dermatitis sufferers, our testers found nightwear with silver in the fabric very hot, as the silver minimises heat loss and reflects energy back to the skin.
We think you'll find cotton or bamboo fabric both soft and absorbent and more comfortable next to the skin if you have eczema, psoriasis or dry or sensitive skin.
If you're buying specially made sleepsuits that have grown-on feet and mittens, make sure there are no ties around the wrists or ankles as these can make sore skin even more sore. Look for tear-off labels and seamless soft fabric that can be washed at at 60° so stains from creams and ointments can be removed and surface dustmite allergen eliminated.
Getting the size right
Make sure the fit is close without being tight. But avoid the friction that a too-big garment will cause as it moves excessively over the skin. Be aware too of "skin on skin" contact, especially under the arms if the raglan is loose or between the legs if the gusset is too low.
Two or three sets worn in rotation should last, even with frequent hot-washing, until the child is ready for the next size up.
We are impressed by the clinical trials, tests and results achieved by users of comfortable and healing DermaSilk pyjamas.
They are made of a special, knitted medical grade silk, bonded with a patented antimicrobial shield. This Microbe Shield™ has been used on operating theatre gowns for infection control in hospitals for over 30 years. It inhibits the development of Staph Aureus and other bacteria on the skin, an important benefit for eczema sufferers.
In clinical trials 83% of children with atopic dermatitis using DermaSilk garments showed an improvement in their condition.
Gloves - 3 good recommendations:
Wearing mittens during the day is not recommended as this can interfere with the development of a child’s hand/eye co-ordination. But for short, vulnerable periods such as car journeys or when sitting in front of the TV a pair of soft gloves which turn a damaging scratch into a protected rub, can be a godsend.
Adults too will find the gloves help to stop scratching whilst asleep and they're also good to wear over creams and emollients at night.
Our Bamboo Gloves have been made in conjunction with the Norwegian Asthma & Allergy Association to protect the hands of children and adults with eczema, contact dermatitis or psoriasis. You'll find this naturally antibacterial fabric soft, stretchy and very comfortable.
In the UK, US and elsewhere, children's nightclothes are, by law, treated with flameproofing chemicals. Most of these chemicals contain formaldehyde which cannot be washed out. Children with eczema should not be exposed to these chemicals, especially at night when body heat encourages fumes to be given off. This can lead to allergic reactions in asthmatics too.
Wherever possible look for nightwear which carries the Eco-Tex symbol (sometimes spelt Oeko-tex). This is an international standard of textile purity and guarantees that the fabric from which the garment is made does not contain any harmful chemicals.
If the eczema is mild you may be ok at night just with some very soft pyjamas and a pair of cotton gloves to make scratching less harmful. Some parents stitch a pair of gloves to the wrists of a long-sleeved T-shirt, so they're not so easy to take off.