As parents, it can be really hard to watch our little ones suffer with eczema at such a young age. All that itching and scratching is agonising for young babies and so we’re always on the hunt for clothing that will soothe their irritated skin. Yet, according to research, our prayers might have been answered, in the form of Merino wool.
New research funded by the Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) has shown that wearing superfine Merino wool is extremely therapeutic for eczema prone skin. The magic lies in the breathability of the wool, which adapts to the micro-climate you are in, keeping you warm and toasty when it’s cold, and nice and cool when it’s hot. The process is called ‘moisture management’ and has proved to be remarkably effective. Wool smooths out any humidity and acts like a second skin, for those whose ‘first’ skin is too dry.
A study of approximately 40 babies and young children under 3 years old, at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI) in Melbourne, showed significant advantages of superfine Merino wool base-layers, rather than cotton, in improving the symptoms of eczema.
Forget bulky knits, merino wool is super fine and is softer than cotton on the skin, so when you're on the hunt, look for brands with the Woolmark logo for quality merino wool clothing. Many think of wool as a scratchy material, in fact one to be kept away from sensitive skin, but fine merino wool is soft and comforting. It turns out that the reason thick woollen jumpers can irritate skin is due to the size of the woollen fibres. The larger the diameter of the fibres, the more scratchy the wool is. So the fact that merino wool is so fine, means that it’s as soft as a baby’s bum.