Best and Worst Materials for Toddlers with Eczema

It’s hardly surprising that clothing can be one of the most common irritants of eczema, as it is touching the skin all day long. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that your toddler is dressed in the softest and gentlest materials.

Whilst toddler scratch mittens made from gentle fabrics are designed to stop those wandering little fingers from rubbing away at skin and causing further irritation, it’s important to consider what the rest of your toddler’s clothing is made from too.

Here is the lowdown on the best and worst materials for toddlers with eczema to help you kit your little one out in irritant-free clothing.

Best materials for eczema

100% natural cotton

Good quality, natural cotton clothing should be loose, comfortable, and breathable, making it an ideal option for many toddlers with eczema.

The only downside with cotton is that during warm weather, if your toddler becomes a bit sweaty and sticky, it may absorb the moisture which can sometimes cause irritation. Some toddlers may get on great in cotton, whilst others may need a more specialist material to find relief. We recommend making this affordable fabric the first option you try.


As well as being luxuriously soft and smooth, silk is also hypoallergenic and naturally anti-microbial, making it a popular choice for looking after eczema-prone skin. Its anti-microbial properties help to reduce the risk of infection in broken and irritated skin.

Specialist micro-fibre fabrics

Specialist micro-fibre materials are made with sensitive skin in mind. They are generally smoother, softer and more absorbent than cotton.

Specialist fabrics are definitely an expensive option, but if your toddler is still in discomfort wearing cotton it’s worth investing in a couple of more expensive undergarments so that the clothing closest to their skin is gentle.

Worst materials for eczema


Wool can be a very coarse and itchy material at the best of times, so for eczema sufferers it’s a real no-no. As well as being itchy and hot, some wool also contains natural lanolin which is an eczema irritant and can cause flare ups and significant discomfort.

Dyed fabrics

It’s best to avoid dressing toddlers with eczema in any clothing that is made using dyed fabrics. Dyes contain chemicals which can aggravate skin conditions like eczema. Instead, look out for natural, chemical-free fabrics.

Man-made materials

This includes fabric like polyester, nylon, rayon and denim, none of which are very breathable, making them warm and likely to irritate eczema. Man-made fabrics are also rife with chemicals, and it’s best to keep anything touching your toddler’s skin as natural and gentle as possible to avoid irritation.

Top tips for clothing your eczema toddler

  • Remove any itchy labels in clothing that could rub and cause irritation.

  • Opt for clothes with loose necklines as tight necklines can rub and cause discomfort.

  • Check that inner seams are soft and covered.

  • Wash new clothes before first wear to get rid of any potential irritants.

  • Use specialist eczema mittens for toddlers over or under their other clothing to prevent scratching.

Scratch Sleeves offer a wide range of colourful eczema mittens for toddlers, which are not only made from the softest 100% natural cotton and silk, their clever design also prevents toddlers from removing them and from scratching at skin that is already sore.

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