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Wet wrap therapy is used for moderate to severe eczema, especially atopic dermatitis. Wet wraps help keep skin moist and improve the effectiveness of moisturizers. They also have a cooling anti-itch effect.
During particularly intense eczema ﬂare-ups with severe itch or pain, wet wrap therapy can work wonders to rehydrate and calm the skin and help topical medications work better.
The wraps, which can be bought or made from articles of clothing, are soaked in water and applied to the affected skin on the body. Face wraps, however, use gauze and surgical netting, and are made and applied by nurses trained in this treatment.
Wet wraps are best done in the evening after bathing, moisturizing and applying medication. You can use clean, cotton clothing as a dressing and pajamas or a onesie (for children) on top if the eczema is widespread, cotton gloves or socks if it is not. Re-wet or take the wraps off when they start to dry out.
Wet wrap therapy should only be done under the guidance of your doctor, especially if you are using prescription topical medications.
Dr. Mark Boguniewicz from National Jewish Health, talks about the advantages of wet wrap therapy: