Posted by: eczemancipated | February 21, 2013

Clothing 101

Clothing becomes a bit tricky through the withdrawal flare, shedding, cold sweat, hot flash, raw cut up skin, edema and rashy phases. It seems everyone pretty much switches over to completely cotton fabrics immediately. Although I do have a few pieces of cotton polyester blends that feel like silk and breath like cotton, very cooling to the skin.

It’s important the clothing is loose-fitting and the garment is a thin quality fabric verses a dense thicker material. Cotton does absorb fluid and does not dry fast, so plan on changing a bunch or get thin cotton cloths. 

Turning your clothes inside out so that the seams don’t rub your skin is also helpful. Elastic banded, slide proof seams and trim on undergarments should also be avoided, as it will really irritate. I have learned that cutting the trim around the neck of shirts out and cutting tags out of everything is way more comfortable.

There will be times where you will need to change often, so gather a good stack of clothing. Some friends and family may be willing to give you some of their old cotton stuff. Many people gave me clothes once they knew what I needed. My aunt and my mom both gave me like 10 cotton shirts. A friend of mine gave me an oversized linen button up shirt I wear over dresses or with leggings. My husband gave me a bunch of his old t-shirts. Other people gave me skirts, tank tops, pajamas, oversized men’s t-shirts. 

Old clothes are good because they are worn in and softer. They are also great because you won’t care if they get stains or marks from all of the ointments you put on your skin.

(I personally plan on having a celebratory beach bonfire with a few close friends when I am fully healed. I plan on gathering all of the ‘comfy clothes of convalescence’  I have worn during this terrible time of my life and torching it. Both for the celebration/healing and to get rid of any trace.)

Find an inexpensive store with cotton, linen or silk clothes and stock up on:

-‘yoga’ type pants
-sweat pants
-tank tops (not ribbed)
-cotton pants that feel more like bed sheets for sleeping in
-long dresses (for layering over)
-long skirts (for layering over) b
-socks that won’t pinch your ankles or feet
-oversized sweat shirts to layer over the top
-loose silk long-Johns for under suits or jeans for comfort, cut any band at the ankles or wrist off as they will restrict blood flow and cause edema
-dress shirts are often treated to keep from staining or wrinkling, these chemical may be extremely irritating, so if you need to wear a dress shirt (I feel so bad if you do, I am so sorry…) buy a 100% cotton shirt that probably will require ironing
-cotton gloves can be purchased at a pharmacy in the bandages section
-organic if possible, cotton sheets or antique cotton/poly blended sheets for the bed and even for draping over the couch or other furniture to minimize flake clean up
-fluffy absorbent cotton towels that don’t feel like sand paper (splurge)
-stock up on lots of cotton pillow cases for strapping your arms down through long sleeved shirts so as not to scratch while sleeping, also wrapping around your neck to absorb all the ooze and changing on your pillow frequently so as not to spread infections on the face

How you wash your clothes is also important. 

Do not bother using dryer sheets as the chemicals on them can trigger more irritation. As can laundry detergent that has any type of fragrance (natural or not) and dyes are a ‘no no!’. You may want to try a couple of different bottles of plant based washing detergents. I wound up being super allergic to one particular brand of detergent that was dye and fragrance free. 

Not all detergents are created equal…

If you are fighting skin infections, one cup of white distilled vinegar with your detergent in the wash cycle on HOT/COLD + an extra rinse at the end should keep germs from lingering. If you are really nervous you can always boil the garment for 5 minutes then wash it normally. If all else fails, ‘when in doubt, throw it out’ my mom always says. It’s totally not worth spreading something worse on yourself or to others.

I’m not a fan of bleaching anything, it’s not worth going into an eczematic fit if you didn’t rinse the bleach out entirely.

Don’t forget, line drying stuff in the sun will also disinfect your clothes nicely. It also uber Eco-friendly and who doesn’t want to be green… We are already red, let’s try for all the colors of the earth.


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