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Clothing for People with Sensitive Skin ( part 2)

Posted on April 02 2017

Care should be taken when selecting clothing for people who have skin problems. These problems may be due to poor circulation, reduced sensation, allergies, or conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. The aim is to ensure comfort and reduce the risk of skin damage. Washing powder may be the cause of skin sensitivity, and you should try to find out which brands cause a skin reaction.


When body temperature regulation is unstable and leads to excess perspiration, fabrics made from fibres such as cotton, linen, viscose or Lyocell, or blends containing these, worn next to the skin will absorb perspiration and allows it to escape through the outer clothing. In very hot weather it is best to wear loose fitting, loosely knitted absorbent fabrics next to the skin, allowing air to circulate and remove moisture and heat from the body. If the humidity is high and the air still, so that little evaporation takes place, almost any clothing will be uncomfortable.


The feel of fabric is an important part of the comfort which clothing can give. Natural fibres are generally believed to have the most pleasant feel against the skin, but modern processing can give man-made fibres a natural feel while some wools, usually considered soft, can be hard and scratchy, causing itching; linen also may have a rough texture.

The sensation of cold that is momentarily experienced when a garment with a smooth woven fabric, such as a lining, is put on is not felt with hairy or pile fabrics. Those with certain skin complaints and those who have extensive scar tissue following burns or operations must avoid irritating their skin; covering the area with silk or smooth fine cotton may be more comfortable than wearing wool or nylon fabrics.

People with asthma and chest complaints often need to avoid fabrics with a loose, fluffy pile yarn as these can increase their breathing difficulties.


Adverse reactions to leather footwear are usually caused by either chrome used in the tanning process or by dyes. Over recent years, other ways of tanning leather have been found so that it is now a little easier to find shoes that are less likely to produce such reactions.

When a reaction has been noted, the wearer should find out what has caused it by having allergy tests. Once the cause is known, leathers that have been tanned in different ways must be found. Always check the composition of shoe linings too.

Fabric shoes are available particularly for summerwear; and trainers - especially the cheaper ranges - often have fabric uppers. Fabric slippers are available all year round but always check the fibre content of the fabric used and slippers don't offer adequate support for walking outside the home.

Sometimes minor allergic problems are avoided by buying shoes lined with cotton, or by wearing cotton socks, stockings or tights

Wellington boots are a problem for people with an allergy to rubber. Some are lined with cotton. Breathable Wellington boots are also available from some specialist suppliers.

Soles and insoles are made from many different materials and this should be indicated on the shoe when purchasing, so it should not be too difficult to find out which to choose and which to avoid


Today most socks, stockings and tights include some Lycra to make them fit closely and this may cause problems for certain people. Support and elastic hose contain variable amounts of Lycra according to the amount of support required. Stockings and socks with elasticated tops will restrict circulation if too tight, as will hosiery that is too small. Socks are now available with non-elasticated tops. Socks that are very loose will wrinkle and could give rise to pressure. Patterns and deep ribbing on the socks will also cause uneven pressure and could lead to sores on the skin. Wrinkles can be a problem if tube socks are worn, as the lack of shaping leaves excess fabric in folds at the front of the ankle.


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