We recently received a comment on one of our ads stating that ‘people with severe allergies are likely to be allergic to silk.’ We decided to seize upon this opportunity to provide you with more information about our products. Here’s what you need to know: People with severe allergies are NOT more likely to have an allergic reaction to Silk Therapeutics. Further, an allergic reaction to the silk used in our products is as near to a biological impossibility as we can imagine. That’s because pure natural silk protein is known to not contain any antigen-binding domains, which are necessary to generate an antibody mediated reaction as part of the immune response cascade that produce the symptoms we recognize as an allergic reaction—swelling, itching, redness and pain. Without a site for antibodies to bind, it’s simply not possible for pure silk protein to cause an allergic response.
Silk has been used in contact with skin by humans for over 5,000 years and today, is even used as the basis for implantable medical devices. The extremely low risk of an allergic response to pure silk is one reason why that’s possible. A number of years ago, Silk Therapeutics co-founder Rebecca Horan and I developed a silk-based platform for orthopedic and reconstructive surgery. It was that pursuit of improving human health through the use of pure silk that eventually led to our skincare technology.
I am so confident about the non-allergenic quality of our products that I use them on my 7 yr old son, who has several allergies, in addition to eczema and elevated IgE levels that predispose him to allergic reactions. My wife and I have found Silk Therapeutics to be helpful for his skin.
If you’re interested in learning more, I invite you to read the scientific paper Silk Based Biomaterials, for which I was the lead author. It discusses the properties of pure silk that make it useful for medical applications such as sutures (stitches) or as ‘scaffolding’ to help rebuild joints or in reconstructive surgery.
Please continue to send us your questions. On behalf of the entire Silk Therapeutics team, we are pleased to provide you with as much information as we can about pure silk and clean skincare.
-Greg Altman, PhD, CEO, Co-Founder of Silk Therapeutics