HOW TO USE THIS ONLINE MAGAZINE
by clicking the arrows at the side of the page.
by clicking anywhere on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level.
and move the page around when zoomed in by dragging the page.
and return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues
a PDF of this magazine.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
a page via email, Facebook, Twitter and more.
TO VIEW PREVIOUS EDITIONS
, click the
button at the bottom of the screen.
Beyond the Bale : September 2012
20 OFF-FARM September 2012 BEYOND THE BALE FAST FACTS l An AWI-funded study undertaken by the Queensland Institute of Dermatology is challenging the conventional treatment of atopic dermatitis. l The pilot study has shown that wearing suitably specified fine Merino products will not irritate the skin's surface but in fact benefit those suffering from chronic skin conditions. l The study also challenges public perception that wool is "prickly and itchy", and may open the doors to new high value product markets. atopic dermatitis. The observations of the QID study might have major ramifications in how wool is perceived, and open doors to new high value product markets. Due to a reduced ability of their skin to retain moisture and resist infection, chronic sufferers of atopic dermatitis are faced with a lifetime of needing to constantly apply skin moisturisers, avoid heat, and often rely on prescribed anti-inflammatories in the form of topical steroid and antibiotic creams, and even oral antibiotics to manage their conditions. Led by QID's Dr Lynda Spelman, a pilot study funded by AWI has been exploring the impact of wearing fine Merino over the affected areas of the skin for sufferers of atopic dermatitis. This chronic condition is becoming increasingly prevalent and affects 8-20 per cent of children. The working hypothesis has been that suitably specified fine Merino products would not irritate the delicate skin surface, and in fact create a beneficial micro- climate which reduces the rate of Research leader Dr Lynda Spelman, Teagan Holland, Kurt Davidson and study facilitator Dr Eshini Perera examine the Merino apparel used in the study. epidermal moisture loss, skin drying, and therefore bacterial infection risks and the desire to scratch the itch ("pruritus"). The early findings of this study have excited both AWI and the clinical dermatology research team. QID recruited 30 long-term sufferers of chronic atopic dermatitis (both male and female) and trialled Superfine Merino knitwear as alternatives to their typical clothing -- these consisted of commercially available underpants, long- sleeve tops, gloves and socks, as well as custom-made bras. The patients were monitored across a six-week period, with four examinations before the Merino wool garments were used and three examinations post-Merino wool. "These initial results have truly been amazing," Dr Spelman said. "We have seen substantial reductions in skin dryness, redness and itchiness, and in the measured area of inflammation -- and for a number of the patients, this is the first time a real solution to their condition has been presented. "Wool appears to be keeping the relative humidity of the wearer's skin at the levels it should be, preventing it from becoming too dry, or too wet. Amajor challenge for the global wool industry is that about four in 10 consumers globally associate the word 'wool' with 'prickle and itch', and one in 10 thinks wool is an allergen. In some of our key markets, such as China, this belief is held so strongly and widely that it acts as a major barrier to having consumers and even paediatricians consider trialling wool for baby wear. As a result, conventional dermatological wisdom is for people with sensitive skin to avoid wearing wool. Now, in what may come to be seen as a major breakthrough in this perception battle, a dedicated research team at the Queensland Institute of Dermatology (QID) has been exploring the role that superfine Merino knitwear has in the treatment of chronic dermatitis conditions, such as Redness Dryness Pruritis Swelling Pain 1 2 3 0 Before After Score (0-3) QID research - initial results (lower score the better)Area 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 0 18 area of inflammation (mm²) Merino medical