Silk clothing offers no benefit for children with eczema

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The role of clothing in managing patients with atopic eczema is poorly understood.

Findings from a new clinical trial suggest silk clothing is unlikely to provide additional benefits over standard care, in children with eczema.

As part of the trial, 300 children were randomised to receive standard eczema care plus silk clothing (100% sericin-free silk garments; DermaSilk or DreamSkin) or standard care alone.

After six months, there was no evidence of a difference between the groups in eczema severity. The clothing did not reduce the amount of creams and ointments used, or the number of skin infections. However, small differences were observed for self-reported eczema symptoms using the Patient Oriented Eczema Measure and global assessment of eczema by participants.
The authors said, even if the potential small benefit of silk garments was genuine, the analysis suggests “that they are unlikely to be cost-effective within currently accepted thresholds”. The addition of clothing to standard care was associated with an incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year of (UK)£56,811, equating to approximately €67,056.

Writing in PLOS Medicine , the authors said: “These trial results provide health commissioners with a better evidence base on which to make informed decisions about silk garments for eczema.”

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