Merino wool effects on eczema
Superfine merino wool demonstrates positive impact on various types of eczema (Atopic dermatitis)
Recent scientific studies have been published in British Journal of Dermatology on the impact of superfine merino on eczema (also referred to as Atopic dermatitis). When conducting the study, the participants were instructed to wear the same wool thickness (measured in microns) over a period of time so as to determine its effects on the skin. The result was that the thickness of the wool fibers had to be 17,5 microns or less in order to suppress some of the symptoms from eczema. The smaller the fiber thickness the finer the wool), and the more expensive. LOOW only operates with Ultrafine and Superfine merino wool.
Wool fiber definitions in micron (µ) for clarification:
- < 16.5 µ (Ultrafine Merino)
- 16,6 – 18.5 µ (Superfine Merino)
- 18,6 – 20,5 µ (Fine Merino)
- 20,6 – 22,5 µ (Medium Merino)
- 22,5 - 24,5 µ (Strong Merino)
- > 25 µ (Other wool)
Superfine merino wool reduces eczema
Studies prove that superfine merino wool significantly reduces the severity of various skin diseases including eczema.
Wool is frequently perceived by the general community as being prickly and itchy, provoking certain skin types to react. However, according to the studies this is not the case if the bearer wears superfine wool (17.5 µ). On the contrary, if a coarser wool is worn it does not contribute to a lower degree of symptoms from eczema.
Some of the findings from wearing Superfine or Ultrafine merino wool is as follows:
Improved microclimate around the skin
Superfine and Ultrafine merino types both contribute strongly to an improved microclimate around the skin when it is worn as the contact layer to the skin. The Superfine merino wool ensures a balanced moisture level around the skin and optimum breathability, thus aiding the skin to avoid becoming too humid or too dry. For sensitive skin types, a balanced moisture level is specifically important so as to avoid outbreaks of eczema.
Additionally, no other natural product is capable of absorbing water particles as is merino wool; merino wool can absorb up to 30 times more water than nylon and twice as much as cotton. The capability of absorbing water owes to the very building blocks of wool, its amino acids that are hydrophilic, i.e. water loving, from nature. It is exactly the water loving nature of the wool fibers that give wool its outstanding temperature regulating effects compared to other fabrics. Specifically, wool has the ability to optimize the body temperature whether it is cold, warm, humid or dry, thus making wool garments ideal in many contexts. Some of the studies even describe a layer of Superfine merino wool as a natural secondary skin layer with many of the same abilities as the skin itself for people who are prone to dry skin.
The studies furthermore indicate that some sufferers of Atopic dermatitis even reduced the level of medicine used to treat the eczema, while wearing Superfine merino wool. The study demonstrating reduced usage of medicines when wearing Superfine merino wool was conducted at the Australian “Murdoch Children’s Research Institute”. The research proved that Atopic dermatitis sufferers tolerated the Superfine merino wool extraordinarily well and even reduced symptoms from eczema. This was also the study that showed reduced needs for medicines to treat the eczema symptoms.
Four different scientific studies conclude positive results on the usage of Superfine merino wool in the treatment of eczema, reducing the degree of symptoms and improving quality of life for people with sensitive skin and tendency to Atopic dermatitis. The four studies were performed on different age groups and varied from infants to adults. During the studies, the participants were instructed to wear Superfine merino as the skin-contact layer for a minimum of 6 hours a day during a 6-week period. The studies were based on Superfine merino wool with fiber thickness of 17,5 microns or less.