Can you make changes to your bedroom to help with your eczema?
The answer is yes! So let’s take a look at how!
To start off, let’s look at your bed linen.
Look at whether you are using a natural bed linen, or a man-made synthetic material such as polyester, or a polyester mix. Man-made materials which can also be added to natural materials, can cause you to get hot when you’re sleeping and then make you itch.
There are several natural materials that you can choose from, so it’s just a case of preference. My preferred natural material is Bamboo.
As Bamboo is hypoallergenic, it can be cooling in the summer and keep you warm whilst you’re asleep in the winter. It doesn’t suck moisture away from your skin which is good for your eczema, as this bed linen can help prevent your skin from becoming overly dry.
Another natural fabric, derived from wood pulp is Tencel. I’ll be honest and let you know that I haven’t yet tried it, but I have read many reviews that leads me to believe that it may be as good as bamboo for those who find most materials irritating to their skin, as it is super soft. The benefits of using Tencel bed linen for eczema sufferers are that the material which is made up of two different natural fibres is breathable. It absorbs moisture without overly drying the skin and helps the skin to stay cool and dry.
Another natural fabric you have definitely heard of is cotton. The positive thing about cotton is that it is natural and therefore shouldn’t cause you to itch with irritation, unless the colour/dye is the issue. However, cotton can pull moisture away from your skin, leaving it overly dry, so you should aim to use as tight a weave as possible. I have found that organic cotton has the tightest weave, although it might sound bougie and posh, but it will be better against your skin. The tighter the weave, the better the cotton fabric.
A natural pillowcase that I love to use is silk. It is nice and cool against the face, and its slippery texture prevents moisture from being drawn away from the skin. It is way too expensive and bougie for me to purchase an entire bed linen set. Often silk bed linen sets may require dry cleaning instead of machine washing, which means chemicals used during the process, coming into contact with your skin. For now, I have been able to purchase machine washable silk pillowcases, which I am happy with. Again, I opt for a natural colour and keep away from dyed materials, after an unfortunate encounter with a dyed red silk pillowcase that left me with a rash all over my face.
A non-natural fabric that I only use for pillowcases and no other bed linen is satin. The name satin pertains to the weave of the fabric and is often made up of both natural and synthetic materials. It will definitely create too much heat as a bed sheet or duvet cover, but the material is a vegan friendly alternative to silk, to put your face against when asleep. I switch between satin pillowcases, bamboo pillowcases, and silk pillow cases.
Before I move on, I should point out that although wool is a natural material, this can cause discomfort and itching to the skin, so it is best to keep away from this natural fabric.
When it comes to comfort that doesn’t involve the bed itself, another thing to consider is the warmth of your room. I know it’s not quite possible for all people to sleep with their windows open if you live in the city, due to noise, and pollution, but if you live in the countryside then do open your bedroom window. Even in the winter time, have a little bit of the window open but through the summer open it as wide as you can, as long as it is safe and as long as you’re not bringing in unwanted pollution or pollen into the air.
Now, with that being said, if you aren’t able to have a window open or it is still too hot in the bedroom then use a fan. Keeping your bedroom cool is a must as heat can irritate your skin as you become too warm. In my son’s bedroom, he has two. One fan on a low setting, oscillating left to right, through the night and the other used mainly in the summer, directed only toward his body.
Another area of concern that shouldn’t be overlooked is the moisture level of your bedroom. If the air is too dry this too, can affect your skin. In the UK, central heating causes the air in all rooms throughout your home to dry out. A simple fix for this is a humidifier. We have a mini humidifier in each of our bedrooms which we use when the central heating is on in the winter months. The small ones don’t make much, if any noise, and they’re inexpensive. I paid between £20 – £30 for each of ours. Just add water and watch the vapor be released into the air.
If you don’t want to go down the route of a humidifier, you can put a bowl of water underneath your radiator when the central heating is on and although you can’t see it taking place, the water will slowly evaporate into the air.
With these different ways of making improvements to your bedroom, don’t forget that for most of us, eczema is a symptom of what is going on inside the body, so it is important to look at the foods you are eating. If you want ideas of where to start, head over to our YouTube channel for access to free videos advising you how to help yourself.