has been widely researched in a number of medical conditions.
This section is not intended to give a full description
of each disease area but to enable you to understand how
DermaSilk Therapeutic Clothing could be of help in the
management and which garments might be appropriate.
If you need more information
on any disease area please use our links page to access
other sites designed to provide it.
The British Association of Dermatologists describes Atopic eczema as a dry,
itchy inflammation of the skin. The words eczema and dermatitis are interchangeable
and mean the same thing. Atopic eczema, therefore, is the same thing as atopic
dermatitis. Atopic eczema can affect any part of the skin, including the face,
but the areas most commonly affected are the bends of the elbows, around the
knees, and around the wrists and neck. It affects both sexes equally and usually
starts in the first weeks or months of life. It is most common in children,
affecting at least 10% of infants, although it can carry on into adult life
or come back in the teenage or early adult years.
Atopic eczema runs in families.
Atopic people have an overactive immune system and their
skin easily becomes inflamed. Their skin barrier does
not work well, so that their skin may become dry and
prone to infection. Atopic eczema is not infectious.
Many external factors can
make eczema worse. These include heat, dust, and contact
with irritants such as soap or detergents. Also having
a cold can make eczema flare.
The main symptom is itch.
Scratching in response to this may be responsible for
many of the changes seen on the skin. Itching can be
bad enough to interfere with sleep.
Atopic eczema cannot be cured,
but there are many ways of controlling it. Most children
with atopic eczema improve as they get older (75% clear
by their teens). However, many of those who have had
eczema continue to have dry skin and need to avoid irritants
such as soaps or bubble baths. Eczema may persist in
adults it but should be controllable with the right treatment.
DermaSilk in Atopic Eczema.
Most garments within the DermaSilk
range can be used for Atopic Eczema. Having a DermaSilk
garment next to the skin can help to prevent over heating
and excessive levels of moisture on the skin which, in
turn reduces itching and scratching.
Children wearing DermaSilk
during the night will have a much better nights sleep
and both children and parents will wake up refreshed.
Products marked with an Rx are available on prescription
in the UK.
DermaTherapy in Atopic Eczema
Patients may also find our
DermaTherapy Bedding useful in helping to reduce irritation
and overheating at night and so aid restful sleep. Click
on www.dermatherapybedding.co.uk to find out more.
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Gravitational eczema is also known as varicose or stasis eczema. It is a common
skin condition which affects the lower legs of adults. If left untreated, the
skin can break down to form ulcers, which are then difficult to heal.
Gravitational eczema is usually
seen in middle-aged or elderly people, but it can occur
from teenage years onwards. It is more likely to occur
if you have high blood pressure, varicose veins, or had
a deep vein thrombosis or phlebitis in the past. Women
have a much higher chance of developing Gravitational
eczema since female hormones and pregnancy increase the
The pressure of the blood
in the veins is greater in the lower leg than anywhere
else in the body when we stand up. As we get older and
less active the blood moves less well up our veins and
can collect in the lower legs.
If the leg vein walls are weak, they cannot hold a high
pressure in them and varicose veins develop, appearing
as dark blue wiggly, raised bulges on the legs’ surface.
Fluid can pool in the lower legs and ooze through the
vein walls into the surrounding space, causing the ankles
swell. This becomes especially noticeable in the evening
after a day spent standing up during hot weather, when
the legs ache and feel heavy. Blood may then leak through
the very small vessels, causing red-brown speckled spots
to appear on the skin which becomes hot and itchy – tiny
blisters can also appear, usually just above the inside
of the ankle.
Over a period of time, if
left untreated, the skin becomes thin and fragile, and
looks shiny and flaky. This skin may crack if it becomes
over-dry, or if scratched or picked. Trauma to that area
can also break the skin and cause further irritation.
If left untreated, the wound can deepen and widen, and
the resulting wound is called a varicose ulcer, also
known as a venous, or stasis, ulcer. These ulcers are
typically found just above the inside of the ankle. They
often ooze and can attract bacteria, both of which can
aggravate the surrounding skin, making the eczema even
Gravitational eczema can be
helped by a number of things:
• Exercise is important – a spot of brisk walking twice
a day or climbing stairs, can help push blood through
• Keeping the skin soft and supple by using emollients
prevents the skin from cracking. Lightly apply the
emollient in smooth downward strokes so that the skin
glistens. Do not use a circular motion or apply it
upwards as this will cause the emollient to clog your
pores and irritate the skin.
• Hot water will cause dehydration of the skin and itchiness
– so bathe or shower in cool to warm water.
• Avoid using soap and bubble bath – these dry out the
skin and can irritate the eczema.
If the skin becomes hot and
inflamed, begins to ooze or look different, or if you
feel feverish and sweaty, see your doctor, since a skin
infection could be starting. This type of eczema can
be an on-going problem. The condition flares and wanes
if a good skin care routine is in place it will help
to prevent the eczema starting up.
DermaSilk in Gravitational
DermaSilk helps to maintain
a stable environment for the legs. The DermaSilk Heel-Less
Undersocks are designed to be worn next to the skin where
they help to prevent over heating and the drying out
of the delicate skin around the ankles. Their design
means that a single size will cover the majority of legs.
For those people who have
to wear compression stockings DermaSilk has an additional
advantage in that it not only protects the skin from
the damaging effects of the latex in the compression
socks but it also makes the application and removal of
compression stockings a simple task.
DermaSilk Heel-Less Undersocks
are available to buy online.
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Contact dermatitis is inflammation of the skin that results from an external
substance coming into contact with the skin. This can occur through one of
Irritant contact dermatitis is responsible for approximately 80 per cent of cases
of contact dermatitis. Irritants are often encountered
at work (occupational) although other common irritants
are soaps, detergents, food and cement. Almost all workers
in occupations such as hairdressing, cleaning, metal
engineering, building-site work and horticulture develop
some degree of irritant contact dermatitis. An irritant
dermatitis is most likely to occur on the hands.
Allergic contact dermatitis accounts for the remaining 20 per cent of cases. In this
condition, the cause of skin inflammation is a hypersensitivity
reaction. The commonest allergens are
nickel, fragrances, rubber, some plants, formaldehyde,
skin medications (including topical corticosteroids)
and hairdressing chemicals.
The symptoms vary depending
upon the type of dermatitis. The appearance of acute
irritant dermatitis can range from a mild reaction consisting
of transient redness to a severe painful burn with blistering.
Chronic irritant dermatitis often begins with a few patches
of dry, slightly inflamed skin that become thickened
Early allergic contact dermatitis
starts with the features of eczema developing at the
site of contact, e.g. an itch under an earring or along
a waistband that contains rubber. The itch can develop
into an area of redness with swelling and even small
blisters that weep. The reaction can extend beyond or
occur in a different place from the site of contact.
If exposure to an allergen persists, the skin becomes
drier, thicker and scalier with a change in colour.
Allergic contact dermatitis
usually occurs 48 to 72 hours after exposure, and will
wax and wane depending on exposure.
DermaSilk in Contact Dermatitis.
The hands are a major problem
in contact dermatitis and whilst it is not always possible
to fully remove the source of the irritation the use
of DermaSilk gloves can have a major impact on its management.
DermaSilk gloves are special. Each glove is knitted as
a single item. There are no seams. The gloves have a
long gauntlet to help cover the wrist and are made with
the DermaSilk on the inside protected with a wicking
material called Coolmax® knitted onto the outside. This
gives the glove additional durability. DermaSilk gloves
are suitable for night time use and can also be used
in the majority of work scenarios as a protective glove
under an industrial or waterproof glove.
In the UK, DermaSilk gloves
for adults and children are available on doctors’ prescription
and can also be purchased privately via our website. The gloves are available in both full-fingered and half-fingered versions to enable the use of touch screens or to maintain tactile dexterity under nitrile gloves.
Microair Barrier Socks and Gloves in Contact Dermatitis.
To avoid contact with the irritating substances that cause this type of dermatitis, Espère Healthcare is proud to introduce a patented innovation in Microair Barrier gloves and socks.
These are made from a revolutionary fabric which:
- blocks allergens and irritants;
- is impermeable to liquids, ions and gases;
- breathes to allow the transmission of water vapour.
The following clinical studies confirm the efficacy of this fabric in dealing with Contact Dermatitis.
- Efficacy of a new barrier glove in the treatment of chronic hand eczema
(Kinaciyan T. et al., Poster Presentation EAACI Congress, Warsaw, 6-10 June 2009);
- “Allergic contact dermatitis of the feet: therapeutic efficacy of barrier socks”
(Corazza M. et al. Poster presentation, SIDAPA Congress, Cervia, 22-24 October 2009);
- Use of new “Barrier socks” in contact allergic dermatitis” CASE REPORT
(Borghesan F. and Bellotti).
Microair® Barrier Fabric has been designed and patented by Alpretec, the inventors of DermaSilk Therapeutic Clothing. It prevents allergens/irritants from getting into contact with the skin but still lets it breathe.
This is a tri-layered fabric, made of a knitted polyester microfiber in layers 1 & 3, while the internal layer is a micro porous membrane (2) that blocks allergens whilst allowing the passage of water vapour and sweat whilst remaining waterproof. The result is a fabric that will hold back a column of water over 2 metres high without leaking whilst having the ability to steam up a pair of spectacles held over a covered hot coffee!
Microair Barrier Socks and gloves have a number of applications.
For those people working in industries that require the use of industrial safety boots there is always a risk of potentially harmful chemicals leaching from the leather, through the socks and onto the feet of the wearer. Toxins such as chromates and nickel can cause significant damage to the skin of the feet which can result in time off work and reduced productivity.
The use of Microair Barrier socks will allow the feet to breathe and remain cool but any chemicals that accumulate in the boot will not pass through the barrier sock to the feet.
This isn’t always an industrial problem as many people find that they are sensitive to the dyes and adhesives used in modern footwear.
Microair Barrier gloves and socks have been designed for use respectively under working gloves and under ordinary socks.
The socks are completely waterproof. All the seams are protected by a special tape which is welded over the seam joint to protect it.
Whilst the fabric in the gloves is waterproof their conventional construction means that the seams cannot be fully waterproofed. However, they will ensure that the vast majority of contact allergens are prevented from gaining access to the skin.
Gloves and socks may be washed at 60°-90°C. It is also possible to wash them in an autoclave and dry them to hospital standards.
To buy Microair Barrier Socks Click here.
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Vaginal thrush is a yeast infection that causes irritation
of the female genital area. It is caused by an overgrowth
of the fungus or yeast Candida. Yeast normally
live in the vagina in small numbers, but when the bacteria in the vagina
become out of balance, too many yeast cells grow and
cause an infection.
Vaginal yeast infections are very common. About 75 percent of women have
a yeast infection during their lives. And almost half of women have two or
The most common symptom of a yeast infection is extreme itchiness in and
around the vagina. Other symptoms include:
Burning, redness, and swelling
of the vagina and the area around it
Pain when urinating
Pain or discomfort during sex
A thick, white vaginal discharge that looks like cottage
cheese and does not have a bad smell
Many things can change the acidity of the vagina and
increase the possibility of a vaginal yeast infection.
lack of sleep
poor diet, or extreme intake of sugary foods
having your period
taking oral contraceptives, some antibiotics and steroid
diseases such as poorly-controlled diabetes
If you get repeat yeast infections you should contact
your doctor. About five percent of women develop four
or more vaginal yeast infections in one year.
To help prevent vaginal yeast infections, try the following:
Don't use douches and avoid
scented hygiene products like bubble bath, sprays, pads
Change tampons and pads often during your period.
Don't wear tight underwear or clothes made of synthetic
Wear DermaSilk underwear.
Change out of wet swimsuits and exercise clothes as soon
DermaSilk in Thrush
fabric fulfils all the requirements for helping to cope
Firstly, the silk fabric allows the skin to breathe,
reducing moisture and temperature traps that encourage
of yeasts and fungi. Secondly the Microbe Shield
finish deters the growth of both bacterial and fungal
The result is underclothing
which can reduce the itch associated with external thrush
to zero in under 20 minutes and can significantly reduce
redness AND the number of recurrences experienced by
patients over a 6 month period.
For details of a poster presentation,
exhibited by clinicians in Italy on the effect of DermaSilk
Briefs in recurrent Thrush click here
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Fungal infections around the groin are also common in men. The so called “Jock
Jock itch, also known as tinea Cruris is a fungal infection of the skin in
the groin. The warm, moist environment is the perfect place for the fungus
to grow. Anything that enhances that environment puts the person at risk of
getting jock itch. Therefore, wearing sweaty, wet clothing in the summer time
or wearing several layers of clothing in the wintertime causes an increased
incidence of jock itch. Men are affected more often than women.
The rash of jock itch starts
in the groin fold usually on both sides. If the rash
advances, it usually advances down the inner thigh. The
advancing edge is redder and more raised than areas that
have been infected longer. The advancing edge is usually
scaly and very easily distinguished from normal skin.
The skin within the border turns a reddish-brown and
loses much of its scale.
Jock itch is normally treated with topical creams or
ointments since the fungus only affects the top layer
of skin. If the rash is very red and itchy, especially
if it has blisters at the edge, a topical steroid such
as hydrocortisone may also be applied. Steroids should
not be used in the groin alone without consulting a doctor
since steroids alone can make the rash of jock itch much
Jock Itch Prevention
To prevent jock itch from occurring or re-occurring,
several measures may be taken.
Wear loose fitting underclothing.
Avoid sharing clothing and towels or washcloths.
Allow the groin to dry completely after showering before
covering with clothes.
Antifungal powders or sprays may be used once a day to
DermaSilk in Jock Itch
The DermaSilk fabric fulfils
all the requirements for helping to cope with Jock Itch.
Firstly, the silk fabric allows the skin to breath, reducing
moisture and temperature traps that encourage the growth
of yeasts and fungi. Secondly the Microbe Shield
finish deters the growth of both bacterial and fungal
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Vulval Pain Syndrome
Vulval pain syndrome affects women from adolescence through to and beyond the
menopause. Pain may occur spontaneously and may be triggered by a wide variety
of activities: from sexual intercourse to walking to wearing tight-fitting
clothing. This interference with daily functioning can impair the ability to
work or study, to engage in physical exercise, and to participate in a full
Vulval pain syndrome can become physically and emotionally overwhelming to
those who are affected. All the factors can affect self-esteem and can cause
relationship stress, sexual difficulties, poor body image and depression.
There is no evidence that vulval pain syndrome is caused by infection or that
it is a consequence of a sexually transmitted disease. Although the causes
are unknown, there are thought to be multiple contributing factors. These include:
possible injury to, or irritation of, the nerves that supply the vulva, localised
hypersensitivity to infection, high levels of oxalate crystals in the urine
and spasms of muscles that support the pelvic organs.
Treatment is undertaken by
a specialist team of doctors and counsellors and can
involve both topical and oral medications plus counselling
and strict hygiene measures. In addition there are a
number of local support groups which can help patients.
DermaSilk in Vulval Pain Syndrome
The use of DermaSilk in VPS is intended to help maintain
a healthy environment by regulating body temperature
and humidity levels. DermaSilk underwear can also help
to minimise the risk of bacterial and fungal contamination.Although
no clinical trials have yet been published there is
a suggestion from the
use of the fabric in Italy that it has a positive effect
in educing the itch, burning and irritation associated
with Vulval Pain Syndrome.
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Lichen sclerosus is a chronic,
recurrent condition of the skin and mucous membranes
which generally affects the ano-genital region. It is
most common in older women and can lead to degeneration
of the organs of the genitalia. There is no cure, though
treatment with strong topical corticosteroid creams and
ointments help to control most symptoms.
Lichen Sclerosus is characterized by changes in the skin
of the genital area that becomes thin and faded and
develops small white patches which can join up over
time. The most common symptom is pruritus – itch which
is often more intense during the night and with the
progression of the disease. There is also a sensation
of burning plus pain and dryness. Dyspareunia (pain
during intercourse) and difficulty urinating are often
The causes of the disease are not completely clear, though
it may run in families. It is not a sexually transmitted
Lichen Sclerosus is not considered
by the medical profession to be common. However there
is a suggestion that as many as 1 in 300 women have this
condition but that it is either undiagnosed or confused
with Candida (Thrush) by clinicians. Whilst it is most
common in adult women it can also affect pre pubertal
children and adult males too.
DermaSilk in Lichen Sclerosus
When used in combination with
topical steroid therapy DermaSilk briefs have the ability
to reduce symptoms like itch, burning and pain, much
better than in patients who wore cotton briefs instead.
Clinical data produced in
the form of a medical poster shows a significant reduction
in the symptoms of LS within a month.
Click here to see
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Menopause is a natural process that occurs because of a decrease in the function
of the ovaries, which also control oestrogen production. Menopause usually
occurs between the ages of forty-five and fifty-five, although it can occur
much later, or much earlier.
Menopause occurs when a woman
has her final period. This is confirmed when a woman
doesn’t have a period for twelve consecutive months.
Most women experience natural menopause, but some may
experience artificial, or premature menopause. Artificial
menopause usually follows a medical intervention, such
as a hysterectomy, radiation treatment to the pelvic
area or the removal of the ovaries. Premature menopause
refers to when a woman stops menstruating before she
is forty years old and can occur due to smoking, heredity
or exposure to chemicals
A woman can experience a variety of menopause symptoms including:
There are a variety of menopause treatments, both natural
and medical, that can help alleviate the symptoms of
DermaSilk in Menopause
DermaSilk clothing can offer
a positive benefit for women going through the menopause.
Firstly, the silk has the ability to help reduce the
irritation associated with dry skin and will help to
maintain a healthy skin – much the same as it does in
Secondly, DermaSilk worn at
night can help reduce the adverse effects of night sweats
since the silk fabric can absorb up to 1/3rd of its own
weight in moisture before it feels damp. This moisture
becomes locked away in the core of the silk and means
that the skin stays drier for longer and so there is
less likelihood of you waking during the night because
you feel damp.
DermaTherapy in Menopausal
Patients may also find our
DermaTherapy Bedding useful in helping to reduce the
discomfort caused by night sweats and overheating and
so aid restful sleep. Click on www.dermatherapybedding.co.uk to find out more about this clinically proven product.
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Alleviating the Symptoms of Chemo and Radiotherapy Treatment
Modern treatments for treating cancer are becoming more and more effective but many of them still carry side effects which can reduce a patient's quality of life.
Sometimes the level of side effects can become so intolerable that the only course of action is to postpone or discontinue doses of chemo and radio therapy which obviously is not ideal. The aim of any treatment regime must be to allow the prescribed treatment to complete in the most appropriate time with the most appropriate doses.
Radiotherapy treatment can induce "burns" on the surface of the skin where the dose is administered. This can happen immediately upon commencement of treatment or can happen up to several months after radiotherapy has been discontinued.
Similarly, certain chemotherapeutic drugs can cause the patient to develop skin problems which may vary from acne-like spots to generalised lesions across the whole body. one of the worst side effects causes the palms of the hands and soles of feet to become red, inflamed and blistered. Hands can lose sensation, making it difficult to hold objects or even fasten buttons!
Many departments are now using moisturising creams to help reduce the effects of these symptoms but recent studies have suggested that DermaSilk Therapeutic Clothing can play a significant role in the rehabilitation process.
DermaSilk in Radiotherapy
DermaSilk clothing has been shown to help reduce the risk of skin damage caused by radiotherapy in a small pilot study involving patients with breast, head and neck and anal cancer. All patients wore appropriate DermaSilk garments for the duration of their radiotherapy course.
All patients completed their radiotherapy courses within the allotted time with no delays due to side effects. Compliance was high and there were no cases of skin infections or need for pain relief
DermaSilk was shown to protect the skin, reducing the inflammatory process and accelerating tissue regeneration, leading to an improved Quality of Life . Click here to view the poster presentation
DermaSilk in Chemotherapy
43 Patients with various forms of chemotherapy induced skin problems were enrolled in the study. All carried on with their prescribed chemotherapy whilst wearing the DermaSilk for the duration of the observation and for several months afterwards.
61.9% of the patients reported a significant improvement in their symptoms and 38% reported a good improvement after one month of usage. Skin integrity (as measured by Trans epidermal water loss) improved significantly and the clinicians noted that the improvement in the symptoms and clinical signs was greater with DermaSilk compared with their previous experiences before using DermaSilk.
The authors also noted that no patient suffered a relapse of their skin symptoms during the 4 month follow up, despite continuing their chemotherapy.. Click here to view the poster presentation
With Cancer therapy costing the NHS thousands of pounds to treat and common side effects threatening to cause the postponement or cessation of recommended therapy perhaps the iclusion of 2 DermaSilk garments into the treatment regime may help in keeping therapy on track whilst improving patient comfort, reducing infections and enhansing quality of life?
If you are also being kept up at night by night sweats caused by your cancer therapy then click on www.dermatherapybedding.co.uk to find out more about this clinically proven product.
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