We know that eczema is a common skin condition and in the past year, there has been a rise in eczema cases1. With the pandemic we’ve been facing and the increased need to wash and sanitize our hands, it’s no wonder more people are getting those unwanted red, itchy and uncomfortable hands. The good news is that there are ways to treat your irritated hands and that you have a choice. We have already talked about some of the pros and cons of eczema gloves but let’s look at the materials they are made of and what that means for your skin.
What’s Happening to Our Hands?
May I remind you that there are over 35 million Americans with eczema and that this number is rising2 due to the excessive hand washing and sanitizing we are doing due to the coronavirus. We know that all this washing is helping to keep away those unwanted germs but when we look at our hands, that’s not the only thing it’s doing. Our skin is also being completely stripped of all of its natural moisture causing our skin to become irritated, inflamed, damaged and at risk of infection. What do we get? More contact dermatitis and eczema. Cheers, water and soap! (I hope you can sense my sarcasm!)
Different Materials for Eczema Gloves
The most common way of treating chronic eczema on the hands is by wearing eczema gloves. They work by providing an extra layer of protection between your sensitive skin and outside irritants. They also help stop you scratching that itch and causing more damage to your skin. Let’s explore the most common materials we can choose from and explore the pros and cons of eczema gloves.
Cotton Gloves for Eczema:
Being the most common material for eczema gloves, there’s never a shortage of cotton eczema gloves if you need them. Because cotton is such a common material, it is mass produced and can be cheap to buy (and we like cheap!). Be careful of low-grade cotton gloves though because they can actually soak up some of your skin’s own moisture which isn’t ideal if you’re trying to keep the moisture in your skin. This means you need to watch out for added chemicals and other materials that could be irritants. Buying organic cotton gloves is usually your best bet. While cotton allows your skin to breathe, there are definitely more breathable materials out there. It is soft, durable and will definitely give your skin an extra layer of protection but is it perfect? No.
Silk Gloves for Eczema:
We all know silk for what it is. It’s unbelievably soft, delicate and smooth on our skin. It makes me feel like a goddess when I wear it. (I hope it’s not just me!) But how does your eczema feel about it? Silk is a breathable material that is good at regulating your body temperature. Depending on the brand, some silk gloves are weaved in an open weave which allows more airflow than standard silk material. This would be important for avoiding having sweaty hands because, obviously, no one wants that but most importantly, sweat that stays on your skin can make your eczema even worse. Unfortunately, silk gloves are much more expensive and because it’s a delicate material, it doesn't last as long through washing cycles and will need to be replaced sooner.
Bamboo Gloves for Eczema:
Even though bamboo is a hard and durable plant, it creates beautifully soft and breathable fabric. It’s no surprise that it’s used for yoga clothing as well as eczema gloves. Allowing your skin to breathe is so important when trying to fight the side effects of eczema. The downside is that bamboo gloves are usually more expensive and may not be as long-lasting as cotton gloves. The good thing is that bamboo is a natural material and eco friendly (it replenishes itself out in the wild and needs much less water to grow3) which is easy on the conscience. You do need to make sure that it’s not blended with other unwanted materials. Pandas only want pure bamboo and so does your inflamed skin.
Gloves In A Bottle for Eczema:
Before you say anything, I know this one is not a material – but it does deserve to be in this list because it can be an incredibly effective eczema glove. Gloves In A Bottle is the shielding lotion that might just replace all the other eczema gloves. When applied to your hands, it creates a breathable layer of protection on the top layer of your skin that keeps your own moisture in but keeps any irritants out. While it doesn’t give you a physical barrier to you itching your skin, the whole idea is that using Gloves In A Bottle will take away your itch as it replenishes the moisture and hydration in your skin, allowing your eczema to heal. The best part? You don’t have to take it off (or put it on!) to wash your hands. It lasts for at last 4 hours, even through hand washing, so you’re safe without the inconvenience of actual gloves.
If you’re looking for a bold fashion statement, then I’ll have to admit, Gloves In A Bottle is not what you want. But if you’re thinking about the pros and cons of eczema gloves and what would work best for you, give Gloves In A Bottle a try and get excited for your new invisible yet effective gloves.