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Natural Fibers for Skin Problems

It only takes a few times of wearing something scratchy to let me know that my skin does not like the fabric. We may be tuned in and know immediately that a certain shirt will never be worn again. But sometimes, with all of the blends of fabrics, we may just feel a subtle irritation and not even know that it’s caused by what we’re wearing.

For most of human history, clothing was made from natural fibers. Our great-grandparents would think it was crazy that the space age would bring fabrics that were made in laboratories. But here we are wearing windbreakers in the fall and raincoats in the spring. The variety of synthetic fabrics has made our lives a lot easier. It may be making us itchier too. If you have atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, or just sensitive skin – look in your closet. You may need to make a change.

What are examples of natural fibers?


This homegrown favorite is picked from a cotton plant and then spun into thread. From there it is woven into fabric. The growing, harvesting and manufacturing of cotton make it a bit more expensive. Today, you can even find brands that are made from organically grown cotton. These items are durable, breathable, and the best for your skin.


Like cotton, this is a made from the flax plant. It is an ancient method of making clothing. Since a lot of colder climates wore wool, the undergarments of lined provided a soft layer that kept skin from being irritated. It grows softer with each wear. Linen can be tightly woven into a fine cloth, or loosely woven, making it more breathable. It is more durable than cotton, and your skin will love it.


This ancient fiber is known for being the most hyperallergenic of all fabrics. It is worn in warm climates because of it’s many benefits. Silk is breathable allow your skin to have air circulating. It is also extremely absorbent. It will wick the moisture from your skin and allow it to breath. These same traits make silk clothing a great choice in colder climates. When living in the mountains, I was surprised to find that most skiers wore silk undergarments. As you body perspires, silk allow it to dry off quickly. This provides warmth, even in snowy weather!

A final note

All of these natural fibers have no elasticity, making them more likely to stretch out. So that snug fitting pair of pants will need a belt to hold them around your waist after a few hours of wear.

These fabrics are all costly to manufacture. From the caterpillars cocoon to the hardy flax reed thread and the cotton plant - there is a lot of hard work. Get ready for a higher price tag. If you have sensitive skin due to allergies, it’s worth it. To make it more affordable, consider making undergarments your entry into natural fiber clothes. For durability and easy care in soft comfortable clothes – go natural.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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