Clothing the itch

Atopic dermatitis is one of the most distressing itchy eczema that starts early in life and gradually improves with age except in an unlucky few. Though several pathogenic mechanisms like impairment of the skin-barrier function, increased oxidative cellular stress, and bacterial colonization are considered, the actual cause (or the combination of them) is largely unknown.

Textile Chemicals
Textile Chemicals (Photo credit: Clariant International Ltd.)

Medical Textiles is one of the most rapidly expanding sectors in the textile industry and this paper investigates the role of ZnO-functionalized textile fibers in the control of Atopic Dermatitis. [1] The concept seems to be interesting, but study unfortunately is far from convincing.

If you actually wanted to prove the usefulness of a fabric in a condition like AD with several undefined causative factors and an incontrovertible psychological component, what would you have done? An RCT with ZnO impregnated fabric and normal fabric with adequate power to prove the hypothesis would have been the most appropriate. But the authors preferred to do impressive in-vitro studies to prove the antioxidative capacity and antibacterial activity. They also showed that the textile is non-toxic to cultured cell lines (Did anyone expect ZnO to be toxic?). However the in-vivo component was limited to an uncontrolled pilot trial in a handful of patients!

I don’t think the evidence provided is hardly sufficient for us to get excited. And the disclosure states that the study is funded by the manufacturer!

References:

1. Wiegand, Cornelia et al. “Skin-protective effects of a zinc oxide-functionalized textile and its relevance for atopic dermatitis.” Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology 6 (2013): 115. [Full Text]

I give 2 peels for this study.

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Skin-protective effects of a zinc oxide-functionalized textile and its relevance for atopic dermatitis
Reviewed by Bell Eapen on .
Medical Textiles is one of the most rapidly expanding sectors in the textile industry and this paper investigates the role of ZnO-functionalized textile fibers in the control of Atopic Dermatitis. The concept seems to be interesting, but study unfortunately is far from convincing.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/CCID.S44865
PeelScore rating: 2

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Bell Eapen

AI, machine learning & digital health consultant at SkinHelpDesk
Techie Dermatologist, Information Systems PhD, Supporter of Open-Source Software, Machine Learning and AI geek,loves cricket, Canadian wine and beer. [Resume]
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About Bell Eapen 246 Articles
Techie Dermatologist, Information Systems PhD, Supporter of Open-Source Software, Machine Learning and AI geek, loves cricket, Canadian wine and beer. [Resume]

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