Key points

• Although parents of children with atopic eczema commonly avoid washing powders that contain enzymes (biological powders), evidence from a small RCT did not support the belief that washing detergents containing enzymes have a provoking effect on eczema severity compared with washing detergents without enzymes.

• There is limited evidence to suggest that softened fabrics may be less likely to exacerbate the symptoms of eczema than unsoftened fabrics, although further pragmatic studies are needed.

• We found no studies looking at the effect of avoiding all contact with washing detergents.

Can specialised clothing help to reduce the symptoms of atopic eczema?

compared with the others at 26 weeks and throughout the trial (P<0-05).

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