The choice of underwear is important, especially in the presence of conditions such as dermatitis and mycosis, or for people with particularly sensitive skin. In these situations, the use of fabrics made of wool or synthetic fibre in direct contact with the skin should be avoided. These have little breathability and a poor hygroscopic capacity (they absorb and lose moisture too slowly or in an insufficient way); they thus create a warm humid microclimate which favours the growth of bacteria and fungi that are responsible for increasingly more widespread pathologies such as mycoses (e.g. athlete’s foot, pityriasis intertrigo, candidiasis, etc.) Until a few years ago the use of cotton underwear was recommended, but recent studies have shown that even this is not the correct solution for people with skin diseases, because the short cotton fibres can irritate the skin when they become moist. DermaSilk garments made of pure silk fibroin are the only ones specially designed to protect the most sensitive skins, even in the presence of alterations and lesions of the skin barrier.
Differences between DermaSilk knitted silk and a cotton shirt of excellent quality.
The silk fibre used for DermaSilk therapeutic apparel is a protein (fibroin) very similar to human hair in its physical and chemical structure. With a length of up to 800-900 metres, the silk fibre is perfectly smooth and thus avoids mechanical friction and irritation. It is used as non irritating suture thread in surgery and may be applied in direct contact with the wounded skin.
Cotton threads are composed of millions of short fibres spun together. Each fibre absorbs moisture, expanding and contracting with a characteristic spiral movement (like a corkscrew). This continuous movement can irritate and scratch skin that is already sensitive, contributing to the onset of a vicious circle of “sweating-scratching-sweating”.
DermaSilk silk knitwear is high-breathing and absorbs as much as 30% of its own weight in moisture while remaining dry. It also regulates the temperature: it is able to reach body temperature rapidly and keep it constant. This characteristic is very important because it helps reduce excessive sweating which is typical of many skin conditions, protecting against loss of water which aggravates dryness of the skin.
Cotton, on the other hand, is a vegetable fibre and has no heat regulating capacity. It can absorb only up to 10% of its own weight in moisture and, when the sweat begins to cool, the skin temperature falls too, forcing the body to react by raising its temperature. This produces further sweating and new water loss.