Researchers at the Technical University of Munich have discovered that a new fabric with a special silver coating can ameliorate skin problems such as eczema.

The silver treated garments contain positive silver ions that eliminate the bacteria that can worsen eczema, said the researchers.

In most cases of eczema, the staphylococcus aureus bacterium is found on people's bodies and causes the skin to become inflamed. These bacteria are electronegative and dermatologists believe the silver ions can kill them.

"This fabric will not cure any eczema but we believe it will reduce its effects," said Dietrich Abec, who is conducting the study.

Der Spiegel newspaper reports the new treatment has some financial side effects. A shirt made from the new material costs about £120, a bedspread and pillowcase about £565.

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