Functional textiles for atopic dermatitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis



Cristina Lopes, Immunology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Al. Prof. Hernâni Monteiro, 4200-309 Porto, Portugal

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Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a relapsing inflammatory skin disease with a considerable social and economic burden. Functional textiles may have antimicrobial and antipruritic properties and have been used as complementary treatment in AD. We aimed to assess their effectiveness and safety in this setting. We carried out a systematic review of three large biomedical databases. GRADE approach was used to rate the levels of evidence and grade of recommendation. Meta-analyses of comparable studies were carried out. Thirteen studies (eight randomized controlled trials and five observational studies) met the eligibility criteria. Interventions were limited to silk (six studies), silver-coated cotton (five studies), borage oil, and ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) fiber (one study each). Silver textiles were associated with improvement in SCORAD (2 of 4), fewer symptoms, a lower need for rescue medication (1 of 2), no difference in quality of life, decreased Staphyloccosus aureus colonization (2 of 3), and improvement of trans-epidermal water loss (1 of 2), with no safety concerns. Silk textile use was associated with improvement in SCORAD and symptoms (2 of 4), with no differences in quality of life or need for rescue medication. With borage oil use only skin erythema showed improvement, and with EVOH fiber, an improvement in eczema severity was reported. Recommendation for the use of functional textiles in AD treatment is weak, supported by low quality of evidence regarding effectiveness in AD symptoms and severity, with no evidence of hazardous consequences with their use. More studies with better methodology and longer follow-up are needed.