Tuesday - April 13, 2021
By Dr. Catricia Tilford, board-certified pediatrician
Hey mama hey,
It may be spring break for several us this month but let me tell you, here in the Midwest it doesn’t FEEL like spring!!!! I have been turning on my heat at night time and the air conditioner on during the day time. Like I wish the weather would commit to a temperature that is predictable. I find myself asking Alexa every morning, “What’s the weather”?” , just so I can dress my daughter appropriately for preschool- because she has called me out several times when I forgot a hat or coat :). She’s my very grown forty-four year old!!!
Now that our spring break vacation is over and we are back in cooler weather, I find myself still scrambling to lay out outfits for the week that will keep her warm, but not overheat her, during these cooler “fake spring” days!
I absolutely love dressing my daughter in this sweater from this amazing children’s cashmere clothing company, Mila Christina!!
As a mama, and a pediatrician, it is so important to me that I am choosing materials that do not irritate her skin, cause her to overheat or limit her mobility to be a playful toddler. When we first put the sweater on I was amazed at how SOFT it was. I excessively asked her, “are you hot?” , to which she repeatedly replied, “No mom!”. She has always been naturally “warm-blooded” and because of this I have always steered away from putting her in clothing that was made from thicker wool material because she overheats fast and when she sweats this leads to skin irritation, or “heat bumps” that cause her a lot of itching- which means having to pull out lots of emollients that leave greasy residue and then lead to stained clothing!
A mess, literally!
I didn’t realize there were so many skin health benefits of cashmere until a friend told me about Mila Christina.
Let’s just get this first fact out of the way….. cashmere is known for being one of the softest fibers in the world.
FIVE SKIN HEALTH BENEFITS
Helps regulate body temperature:
Cashmere is absolutely so soft and it feels amazing against the skin. The fibers are finer than wool fibers and they are spun tightly - this gives it the nice smooth texture. Synthetic fibers and dyed fibers can leave your skin feeling hot and sweaty, cashmere allows your body to breathe which helps regulate temperature.
If babies become too cold-stress in their environment they have to use more energy and oxygen to regulate their temperatures and when babies become overheated this can disrupt their sleeping. A good rule of thumb is to always dress your baby in one additional layer of clothing than what you are comfortable in.
There Is No Scratchiness :
A lot of people avoid wool because of the scratchy feeling on the skin. Cashmere is soft and feels great against the skin as the fibers are much finer than wool and are spun tightly to produce a smooth, soft texture.
When your child has itchy skin this can lead to excoriations (cuts on the skin) that can lead to open sores that potentially would be a portal for bacteria to enter and cause skin infections. This is especially problematic for children who have underlying skin conditions like eczema, because it can lead to bacterial infections.
Bacteria and fungi like to grow in places that hold moisture, like synthetic fibers. Cashmere is a dry fiber. which is not the environment bacteria and fungi need to grow. The second benefit to this is that dust mites will not be attracted to cashmere because dust mites like to eat on shed skin scales that are covered in bacteria.
Dust mites can cause skin bumps and even allergy symptoms like, sneezing, watery eyes, itchy throat, stuffy nose, coughing and even post-nasal drip.
Cashmere fibers do not have lanolin, this means it naturally has hypoallergenic properties. Lanolin has long been used in the skin care and cosmetics industry as an effective emollient, commonly used in body creams and lotions to lock in much-needed moisture and prevent water loss. But lanolin is also known for irritating sensitive skin and causing allergic reactions.
Cashmere Is Insulating:
Cashmere is up to 8 times more insulating than regular sheep’s wool. It can keep you cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s not. Cashmere is adept at wicking moisture away from your body. Having clothing that creates great insulation in smaller children is very important as they can have difficulty regulating body temperate, especially if they are born premature.
So in summary, no matter the time of the year it is cashmere fabric is not only luxurious but it is a healthy clothing choice for your child’s skin health as it is lightweight, insulating, hypoallergenic and has anti-bacterial properties- all which promote great skin health.
Dr. Catricia Tilford
Board-certified bilingual pediatrician
Lead telemedicine pediatrician