Wet Wrap Therapy

During particularly intense eczema flares with severe itch or pain, wet wrap therapy can work wonders to rehydrate and calm the skin and help topical medications work better. The fabric wraps are soaked in water and applied to the affected skin on the body. Face wraps use gauze and surgical netting, and are made and applied by nurses trained in this treatment.

Wet wraps are best done after bathing, moisturizing and applying medication. Use clean, preferably white, cotton clothing, cotton wrap dressing or gauze from a roll for the wet layer, and pajamas or a sweat suit on top as a dry layer. If the eczema is on the feet and/or hands, you can use cotton gloves or socks for the wet layer with vinyl gloves or food-grade plastic wrap as the dry layer.

To do wet wrap therapy, first moisten the clothing or gauze in warm water until they are slightly damp. Be careful not to get excess water on the clothing or gauze. Next, wrap the wet dressings around the affected area. Then gently wrap the dry layer over the wet one. Lastly, carefully put on night-time clothing so as not to disturb the dressing. Leave wet wraps on for several hours or overnight, taking care not to let them dry out.

Consult with a healthcare provider prior to starting wet wrap therapy.

Why wet wrap therapy

Those with eczema, sometimes called atopic dermatitis, usually suffer from side effects such as itchy skin, skin infections and eczema flare-ups. To help manage your eczema symptoms, a dermatologist may prescribe topical corticosteroids. Yet topical steroids aren’t always effective on their own, especially for severe eczema. Because of this, you might also consider wet water therapy which provides hydration and itch relief. In fact, wet wrap therapy reduces eczema symptoms in over 70% of kids who try it!

Wet wrap therapy step-by-step

Instructions for using wet wrap therapy

Looking for a more detailed guide to this eczema therapy? Download the National Eczema Association’s wet wrap therapy instruction sheet. This guide can ensure the process isn’t too time-consuming and that your wraps are effective against even the most severe atopic dermatitis cases.

Learn more about the advantages of wet wrap therapy

Dr. Mark Boguniewicz from National Jewish Health, talks about the advantages of wet wrap therapy:

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