Special clothing helps eczema sufferers

Friday, February 15th 2008, 7:02 pm
By: News 9

By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9

Inflamed, red skin and constant itching are symptoms associated with eczema, a skin condition that affects about 3 percent of Americans.

Some are finding comfort in a new line of clothing that promises to reduce irritation and lessen outbreaks for eczema sufferers. But does it work?

Ten-year-old Harlie Long is just like any other child her age, she loves to watch "High School Musical," a good game of pingpong and playing Guitar Hero.

But, even in the midst of a Pat Benatar jam session, Harlie can't forget her skin condition. She has suffered with eczema her entire life.

Physically painful for Harlie and emotionally wrenching for her father, Christopher Long. He has sought relief through creams and lotions which often yielded very few results. The itching continued and so did the teasing from her classmates.

During a random online search for relief Christopher found DermaSmart, a new line of clothing made specifically for eczema sufferers.

DermaSmart is made with microfiber and silver that pulls moisture away from the skin. The product gets high marks from Dr. Kelli Lovelace, a Tulsa dermatologist.
But, it is expensive. Two garments cost about $70 dollars. For that reason, Lovelace is hesitant to recommend it to her patients.

"There are other ways to decrease that secondary infection," Lovelace said. "We do go with topical medicines and bathing techniques to keep the bacteria down, which are much less expensive."

Further testing is needed to tell whether Dermasmart is superior to those methods, she said.

Harlie is already using those treatments along with the DermaSmart products. Her father has ordered additional garments.

"She does better in school," Christopher said. "She's more confident and outgoing with her friends."

A silver lining of sorts adding comfort to the life of a little girl after years of pain.

If you suffer with eczema or dry skin, avoid hot baths and showers, blot dry instead of towel dry and always use a moisturizing cream, Lovelace said.