Textiles and human skin, microclimate, cutaneous reactions: an overview.
This article overviews research in the interdisciplinary area of textile/skin interaction and related cutaneous intolerance. Microclimate in the skin/clothing system and especially the skin responses relates to the moisture and heat transfer within this system and plays a critical role in skin irritation from textiles. A discussion is then given on skin irritation reactions to textiles, including intolerance caused by chemicals (dyes and finishes) and physical contact/friction. Finally, two skin injuries, blisters and pressure ulcers, which are caused by physical contact, pressure, and friction, are documented. Despite the prevalent problems caused by ill textile/skin interactions, minimal efforts have been devoted to this field. In addition, the in vivo experimental studies infrequently lead to a solid conclusion. The cause may lie in the dramatic variation of skin conditions among individuals as well as among different anatomic sites of the same person. Another reason might be the lack of communications between researchers in the areas of textiles and dermatology.