A recent double blind clinical trial carried out at the University of Bologna in Italy has shown that a new range of specially treated silk underwear dramatically reduces the itching and redness that plagues the many women who suffer from persistent and recurrent thrush infections.
Three out of four women will experience the irritating itch and burning soreness of vaginal thrush at some stage in their life, and 1 in 20 will suffer from thrush more than 4 times a year. For many of these women, vaginal thrush can be a life changing condition as the persistent itching and soreness makes it unbearable, and the vaginal discharge can be highly embarrassing.
This new trial was conducted on almost 100 patients with persistent thrush infections who still had symptoms even after 6 months treatment with fluconazole capsules, the most widely prescribed anti-fungal agent. These resistant patients continued treatment for a further six months, with half wearing cotton briefs and half wearing DermaSilk Intimo briefs , which are made from a special silk fabric that had been coated with an antimicrobial agent. Neither the patients nor the investigators in the trial were told who was wearing what.
At the end of the six month period, redness had been eliminated in almost 9 out of 10 of the patients wearing Dermasilk briefs compared to only 2 out of 10 of those wearing cotton briefs. Nearly 9 out of 10 of those wearing DermaSilk no longer suffered itching whereas only 4 out of 10 of those wearing cotton briefs experienced relief. The trial also showed that of the patients who had relief from their symptoms, DermaSilk Intimo briefs halved the recurrence rate compared to cotton briefs.
The yeast that causes thrush thrives in warm moist conditions. DermaSilk Intimo briefs are made from fibroin, a hypoallergenic medical grade silk, which is able to soak up excess moisture without feeling damp and channel the moisture away. This keeps the sensitive genital area cool and dry which helps control the yeast and alleviate the symptoms. The silk is also protected from contamination with a patented antimicrobial agent which kills a wide range of bacteria and fungi on contact including MRSA and Candida albicans, the yeast that causes thrush. As the antimicrobial is permanently bonded to the silk it never loses its full activity even with regular washing.
Dr Rupert Mason, medical consultant to Espere Healthcare commented, “Underwear made from constrictive synthetic materials is known to be one of the major culprits that aggravate thrush infections, but now we have evidence that the traditional advice to wear cotton briefs is not ideal. The soreness and itch of genital Thrush is uncomfortable and socially embarrassing, so it’s very good news for the millions of sufferers that something as safe and simple as wearing this newly developed underwear can help provide relief. “
DermaSilk Intimo briefs come in a range of designs and cost from 34.50 available exclusively from www.dermasilkintimo.co.uk .
More about Espre Healthcare
Established in 2006, Espre Healthcare Ltd was set up to create and develop a totally new market in medical treatment – biofunctional textiles. A wide range of garments has been developed that are manufactured from new materials specifically designed to produce therapeutic rather than just protective effects, either on their own or in conjunction with currently used conventional medication.
DermaSilk Therapeutic Clothing was the first success. Manufactured from a special, knitted medical grade silk which has been stripped of its outer coating to make it hypoallergenic, this fabric was being used in Europe in a small way as “wellness clothing”. The silk fabric is specially bonded with AEM 5772/5, a patented antimicrobial shield which has been used in hospitals for over 30 years and has proven ability to inhibit bacterial and fungal growth on fabrics such as operating theatre gowns. It acts by puncturing and electrocuting bacteria and fungi, causing their instant death. There is no chemical released from the silk to poison the cells and no chemicals or nano-particles are released onto the skin.
DermaSilk has been approved as a Class 1 medical device for use by the medial profession on NHS prescription since 2007, and is now included in eczema management guidelines followed by consultant dermatologists, GPs and nurses.
Further products have been added to the DermaSilk prescription portfolio to cover other conditions such as gravitational eczema in the elderly and epidermolysis bullosa, a severe and debilitating skin condition. Further research for the therapeutic use of DermaSilk in other conditions is showing very promising results
The company also supply DermaTherapy Bedding, developed from a patented specially designed synthetic fabric sourced from the USA. Proven useful for treating eczema, this bedding has additional potential uses in pressure sore management, a source of significant debilitation amongst the elderly and infirm. The fabric has an antimicrobial finish bonded to it to help counter bacteria such as MRSA & Clostridium difficile.
The inclusion of 4% elastane compliment the inherent stretch properties of the silk and has led to a new range of designs branded DermaSilk Intimo. The elastane is encased within the silk to ensure that it does not come into contact with the skin of the wearer. No other elastic is needed in the waistband or legs. The latest clinical trials have shown the efficacy of these garments in relieving symptoms in women suffering from lichen sclerosus and candida albicans infections.
Espre are also driving the development of these fabrics into new areas, and trials are in progress for the use of DermaSilk in lymphoedema, trench foot and end of life care. Other fabric technologies are also currently being investigated.