Eczema Boot Camp: AJ’s Story

eczema boot camp wet wrap therapy

By National Eczema Association

Published On: Jul 25, 2016

Last Updated On: Jul 15, 2021

AJ lives in the Midwest. His eczema began when he was two months old. There was no history of eczema in his family, but his grandfather does have allergies. AJ started the Eczema Boot Camp regimen about two years ago. AJ’s mother, Erika, answers questions about their experiences with this regimen.

Why did you try the Eczema Boot Camp techniques?

AJ outside.COVERWe decided to try to the eczema boot Camp regimen because it was one of the only treatments we hadn’t tried for AJ’s severe eczema. We were excited because the wet wraps and bleach baths were a very inexpensive method to treat the eczema and were very easy to do. The regimen made sense to us (unlike some other treatments we had tried), and we knew this was going to work. We had tried almost everything under the sun before we were told about these “boot camp” methods and had very few options left in regard to controlling AJ’s skin. We just wish we had found out about it much sooner!

What was your experience with the Eczema Boot Camp approach?

The bleach baths and wet wraps definitely took some time to get used to. Taking daily baths for 15 minutes and then applying layers of steroid and lotion under wet wraps is not something a 9-year-old wants to spend time doing. We knew we had to be home at night with enough time, since it takes about an hour from start to finish every night to do the treatment. AJ knows it helps his skin and keeps him from scratching all night long, and although he fights it often, we always get his treatment done when we need to. at first, we used the boot camp routine as an everyday treatment, but since his flares subsided we now only use it for flare ups.

How quickly did you see results—if you did see results?

We see amazing results every time we do the boot camp regimen. The first time we tried it was a weekend and we had AJ in wet wraps for most of the day. We saw a big difference the second day and continued to see a drastic difference each time we re-wrapped him. He stopped scratching and slept through the night. We no longer use wet wraps as maintenance therapy but when AJ has a flare-up and we wrap him up, it takes about two to three days to get his skin under control again. We always see great results and this is our rescue treatment when he has a flare.

What tips would you share with others about this regimen?

Try to be patient. Eczema is hard work, and treating it is harder. There have been many ups and downs for us: crying, begging and fights to get AJ to take a bath, but we find that activities to keep him occupied while in the bathtub really help. He has a waterproof case so that he can play games, listen to music or read on his iPod to distract him from scratching himself while soaking in the tub. He also sets a timer so he knows how long he will be in the bath. Also, making custom wraps or using tube socks for the wrapping has really helped us. Tube socks keep him comfortable at night and he is able to move in them and doesn’t feel like a mummy.

Is it worth it? Why or why not?

It is absolutely worth it! The eczema boot Camp regimen has changed our lives; we don’t know where we’d be without it. It’s a great way to calm a flare and keep him off antibiotics. AJ doesn’t always enjoy doing the treatments but he knows they work and is grateful for that.

Read more about Eczema Boot Camp.

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