Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) patients have sensitive skin with impaired barrier function. Lyocell is a cellulosic fiber that offers unique characteristics and may be suitable for use by AD patients.
Objective: To compare preferences of subjects with atopic dermatitis and normal skin for 100% lyocell clothing and bedding versus 100% cotton fabrics.
Methods: Thirty subjects were enrolled and randomly selected to use cotton or lyocell shirts, pajamas, and bedding for 1 week. Following a 1-week washout period, participants wore the other fabric for 1 week. At the end of each week, participants completed a preference questionnaire, and AD subjects also rated daily itching on a visual analog scale. A random subset of AD and normal participants underwent measurement of transepidermal water loss (TEWL).
Results: Overall, there was a significant preference for lyocell (vs cotton) for its softness, temperature control, moisture control, and wrinkle resistance. AD subjects did not have stronger fabric preferences than did normal subjects. Although not significant, lower average itching and decreased TEWL were seen in participants while they wore lyocell.
Conclusion: Lyocell is superior to cotton in many performance characteristics and equivalent to cotton for itch reduction. Lyocell is currently available as a beneficial fabric to improve patient comfort.