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Wool ‘itch’ factor debunked as research shows can assist children with eczema

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Clinical trials published in the Journal of British Dermatology looked at whether there was a link between fine merino wool and childhood eczema.

Across the western world one in every 10–12 children suffer from eczema, which is also known as atopic dermatitis.

Dermatologists have for many years recommended that parents avoid wool because it was thought to be a risk factor that would irritate the skin.

John Su, adjunct clinical associate professor with Monash University and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, said the results were surprising.

“In particular, the group that changed from cotton to wool saw a significant reduction in severity scores.”

The trial, over a 12-week period, involved 39 children aged from four weeks to three years, who wore superfine merino wool garments against the skin for six weeks before changing to cotton, and vice versa.

Merino wool feels better on skin, mum says

Elly Stone enrolled her two-year-old son Aiden in the study after investigating a range of solutions to mitigate the effects of eczema, which he has had since birth.

“He was born with it and in the first week he had to have antibiotics because he got an infection from the eczema,” she said.

“And it’s a horrible feeling when your child is so uncomfortable and you don’t know what to do.”

Since taking part in the study, Ms Stone’s perception of wool has changed.

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