Bio-functional clothing greatly helps eczema sufferers!

skintoskin® New Generation Wear.

Online PR News – 29-January-2012 – – The funding for the skintoskin® project came from the Portuguese government via ON.2 – O Novo Norte - North Portugal Regional Operational Programme 2007/2013. This is a financial instrument which supports regional development in the north of Portugal. It forms part of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) 2007/2013 and the new cycle of the European Union government structural funding for research and development.
The technology and expertise used in skintoskin has been developed through collaboration with many centres of excellence.
These institutions include:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (USA)
Cambridge University material sciences. (UK)
University of Minho. (Portugal)

Medical institutions
Hospital De Sao Marco Braga. Leading dermatologist Dr A. Sousa Basto. (Portugal)
The National Health Service. (UK)

Clinical evidence and medical studies
Invivo and Invitro studies. Department of Dermatology, Friedrich-Schiller-University, Jena, (Germany)
Clinical trial. JAS Farma® (Portugal)

Private sector
Smartfiber AG (Germany)
New Textiles Lda (Portugal)
Effjey Group Ltd (UK)

Regulatory affairs and conformity/safety.
Phagecon – Pharmaceutical Services and Consulting, Ltd. (Portugal).
Infarmed Lda. EU Regulation Notification body (Europe)
Regulatory Affairs Manager National Health Service (UK)
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency MHRA (UK)
Okeo Tex (Standard 100) accreditation. (Europe)

Our world is ever evolving and changing. The medications and medicines, steroids, anti-septic, anti-biotic and anti-inflammatory products for example which we trust and depend on are coming under greater pressure to serve us. Bacteria are evolving at an alarming rate with extremely dangerous strains already taking a firm hold for example MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus). The occurrence of skin conditions is growing world wide with an alarming percentage of our population suffering from them, and as yet although we are building a better understanding of the condition a cure is not something we can expect in the foreseeable future.
The skintoskin project was launched to explore alternate methods and natural substances, using knowledge and expertise from many sources in an effort to find new and effective relieving treatments to compliment and reduce the burden placed on our current medicines.

Skintoskin fabric is made from 3 naturally occurring ingredients,
70% cotton, 20% Seaweed extract and 10% Silver ions.

Why these 3?
Firstly we have to look at how treatments for skin conditions are delivered or applied to the sufferer. These tend to be emollients, creams, corticosteroids, plus many more. Application to the skin tends to wear away or be removed by our clothing as well as our busy day to day lives and routines. This began a train of thought, if our clothing, the very thing we all have in direct contact with our skin on a daily basis could deliver therapeutic effects it would allow that effect to be in place for a far greater time with great ease in our daily lives.

The concept of Bio-functional clothing was born.

Why was cotton used? Cotton was chosen as the basis for skintoskin as it is generally regarded as being one of the most tolerable fabrics when placed next to eczematous skin. Cotton is readily available; it is durable, renewable, natural and widely accepted. Cotton is also suited due to its structure to modern manufacturing techniques.

Why Seaweed? Seaweed or seaweed extract is already widely used. The natural anti-inflammatory effects are well documented. Dressings and creams containing seaweed extract have given excellent results when used on burns victims for example giving good irritation relief and assisting in the healing process. The seaweed extract used in skintoskin is derived from Aschophyluum Nodosum seaweed a widely used natural medical product.

Why silver? Bacteria infection is a serious problem with a condition like eczema which can present with an open wound. The irritation caused by the condition leads to an itch scratch cycle with the sufferer opening the skin further. The infection level if needed can be controlled by the application of anti-biotic creams or oral anti-biotic dosing. How ever as we know these bacteria are becoming more resistant and the courses of anti-biotic drugs required to control outbreaks are becoming longer and stronger. There is also the very real threat of MRSA although thought to be confined to medical institutions there is now positive evidence this lethal strain of the bacteria is in our livestock, food chain and environment.
Silver is a well known natural anti-biotic. Even the ancient Greeks knew that if you placed silver coins in a barrel of drinking water it would stay drinkable for much longer. Silver is fast acting and highly effective against Gram + and Gram – bacteria, as well as for several fungal infections, especially those of the Candida strain, responsible for the so called fold dermatitis or inthertrigo. Silver is again used widely in specialist medical dressings where the need for high sterility and resistance to infections is paramount.
The air and water recycling systems on the International Space Station uses silver ion impregnated filters to give the required level of cleanliness.

Using the advanced manufacturing techniques developed by MIT and Cambridge Universities a German company Smartfiber AG produced a 70% cotton based yarn containing 20% seaweed extract and 10% silver ions. Because of the advanced methods used the combination is permanent. The silver ions and seaweed extract are part of the yarn at the molecular level and cannot be washed out. Even after 100 machine washes tests have shown the therapeutic effect remains at 100%. Adhesive strip skin testing of volunteers and subsequently analysing by scanning electron microscopy (SEM, S440i, Leica, Wetzlar, Germany) found no detectable levels of silver, seaweed or cotton. This was confirmed by energy dispersive microanalysis (EDX, Oxford Instruments Link ISIS, Abingdon, UK).
The yarn is then woven into a range of garments by New Textiles of Portugal giving us the skintoskin range and brand.

So in conclusion skintoskin is a cotton based range of garments that are soft but durable and comfortable to wear. The garments give a high level of irritation and itch relief due to the seaweed content. This itch relief breaks the itch scratch cycle and allows the skin the time it needs to heal. The risk from bacterial infection is greatly reduced. Invivo studies have shown bacteria levels in eczema sufferers are greatly reduced and the risk of new external source infection is also greatly reduced as the garment presents an effective anti-microbial barrier. Probably most important is that the effect is permanent for the natural life of the garment and it is delivered by our every day and night wear clothing, regardless of what our lives entail. Skintoskin® is not a complete answer; we have found eczema presents different problems and the need for different methods of coping with the condition to each individual sufferer. What it does give is an extremely effective new tool which can be used in conjunction with recognised treatments if needed to greatly reduce the misery skin conditions can cause. In general using skintoskin alone reduces the symptoms of atopic dermatitis to a manageable level in 8 days.

Innovation does not have to be something completely new, but it must be something substantially improved. Seeing what everyone sees, reading what everyone reads, hearing what everyone hears!

Innovation means doing what no-one had imagined!