Tossing and turning throughout the night is no fun – even more so when your skin is sore, itchy and inflamed. If you’re suffering from atopic dermatitis, one material could trump them all for a peaceful rest.
What’s atopic dermatitis?
The National Eczema Society noted that atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema.
The chronic condition can seemingly disappear and then flare-up without a warning.
It’s the result of an overactive and “disorder” immune system, whereby inflammation damages the skin barrier.
This leads to dry, itchy skin that is prone to rashes that can look red, purple, brown or grey in colour – depending on your skin tone.
Research suggests that people with atopic dermatitis have a mutation of the gene responsible for creating filaggrin.
Filaggrin is a protein that helps our bodies maintain a healthy, protective barrier on the epidermis – the top layer of skin.
Inadequate amounts of filaggrin means that the skin barrier is defective.
Moisture is able to easily escape from the top layer of skin (hence dryness).
And the fragile top layer of skin can be penetrated by viruses and bacteria, leading to inflammation.
The hallmark of the condition is itchy skin, with poor sleep being reported by sufferers.
Certain fabrics can irritate the skin, as confirmed by the health platform Atopic Dermatitis.
The organisation proclaim that “lightweight, smooth and breathable” fabrics are best suited to sensitive skin.
So which bedsheet material fulfils this criteria? The answer is cotton.
Other materials may result in the skin getting too hot during the night; this becomes a problem when sweating results in an atopic dermatitis flare-up.
Moreover, abrasive materials rubbing against the skin can also be a culprit for flare-ups.
Try to aim for 100 percent cotton sheets when looking to make a bedsheet purchase.
Anything less than 100 percent cotton implies there could be synthetic materials mixed into the fabric.
This could result in itchy skin during the night, so it’s best avoided at all costs.
Cotton is said to be “flexible and comfortable” while helping to “control moisture and keep you warm”.
Also try to stay away from duvets and pillows that are filled with feathers or polyester.
Polyester doesn’t allow for any breathability, while feathers could cause additional allergic reactions.
There are quilts and duvets that are filled with cotton, which will be a better option for people with atopic dermatitis.
Another tip provided by the organisation is to perform a skin care routine that includes moisturising every night.
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