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Curr Probl Dermatol. 2006;33:144-51.

Coated textiles in the treatment of atopic dermatitis.

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Allergy Unit, Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Zürich, Switzerland.


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease with increasing prevalence over the last few decades. Various factors are known to aggravate the disease. In particular, wool and synthetic fabrics with harsh textile fibres, aggressive detergents and climatic factors may exacerbate AD. Cutaneous superinfection, particularly with Staphylococcus aureus, is also recognized as an important factor in the elicitation and maintenance of skin inflammation and acute exacerbations of AD. The severity of AD correlates with S. aureus colonization of the skin. Beside the treatment of AD patients with creams and emollients, new developments in the textile industry may have therapeutic implications. Silk or silvercoated textiles show antimicrobial properties that can significantly reduce the burden of S. aureus, leading to a positive effect on AD. Silver products have been used as wound dressing, whereby silver has antiseptic properties, and drug resistance is hardly found. Padycare textiles consist of micromesh material containing woven silver filaments with a total silver content of 20%. In vitro studies of these silver-coated textiles demonstrated a significant decrease in S. aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa as well as Candida albicans. Silk has been increasingly implemented in medical treatment of AD thanks to its unique smoothness that reduces irritation. Silk can be coated with antimicrobials (Dermasilk). The combination of the smoothness of silk with an antimicrobial finish appears to make an ideal textile for patients suffering from AD.

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