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How To Apply Wet Dressing For Eczema

For Children & Adults

Eczema Management: Wet Dressings
  • Bathe
  • Apply creams as directed by your doctor
  • Use tubular bandages from the pharmacy which can be cut to size or cotton pyjamas in warm water and squeeze as dry as possible or spin in the washing machine
  • Put on damp clothing then a layer or dry clothing
  • Leave on for minimum 30 minutes up to 2 hours depending on comfort level. For some sufferers it may be an overnight treatment
  • Remove wet clothing
  • Pat skin dry then apply a generous layer of moisturiser

As skin improves, taper off wet wrap frequency rather than stopping abruptly. Moisturisers should be applied 3-4 times a day otherwise the skin will become dry and itchy again.

  • Wet dressings will dry after a few hours
  • Do not leave the dressings on dry as dry dressings can irritate the skin by causing it to become hot, dry and itchy
  • Use a spray bottle of warm water to moisten bandages
  • Crepe bandages used for wet dressings may be washed in the washing machine
  • Do not wash or reuse the disposable towels
  • Do not use antiseptic bath oils in the wet dressings as these may irritate and burn your childs skin

How Do I Do Wet Wrap Therapy

  • After a lukewarm bath, apply the medication to affected areas of skin
  • Apply moisturizer to all of the skin to increase the skins hydration and reduce itching
  • Soak a pair of form-fitting pajamas in warm, clean water and wring out excess water
  • Put on the wet pajamas so that they are covering the treated areas of skin
  • On top of the wet pajamas, put on a dry pair of pajamas or other form-fitting clothes, preferably made of cotton
  • Periodically , remoisten the wet pajamas using a spray bottle of warm, clean water
  • The wet pajamas should be left in place for at least 12 hours, typically overnight. The wet-wrap pajamas should be done once daily for 1 week, then repeated once weekly as needed. Wet-wrap therapy can be especially helpful during times of flares, when symptoms return or worsen. Improvement in symptoms with wet-wrap therapy usually occurs within the first week of using the therapy.

    Wet Wrap Therapy For Children

    Wet wrap therapy works for children. It may help with itching, crying, and irritability. It may also help your child sleep better because it relieves their symptoms.

    Your doctor may recommend wet therapy for your child at night, after you put on a topical corticosteroid. Avoid doing it for more than 1 week. If your child likes the feeling of wet wrap therapy and it helps their skin stay moist and less itchy, you can do it longer by using moisturizer instead of corticosteroids.

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    Wet Dressings For Treatment Of Pediatric Atopic Dermatitis

    For treatment of moderate to severe flares, wet dressings are an effective adjunct to the application of topical steroids . The application of wet dressings over topical corticosteroids is likely effective through many mechanisms, including vasoconstriction, increased penetration of topical medications, treatment of impetiginization, and physical blockade of excoriation . Wet dressings are a safe and effective therapy, with few adverse effects.

    Despite the advantages of wet dressings, we believe that wet dressings are underutilized. Most likely this is due to lack of provider and patient familiarity with wet dressing technique. At first, the application of wet dressings may seem like a daunting task for patients and families. Providers may find it too cumbersome to outline wet dressing technique during an office visit. We aim to supply providers with an approachable outline of the wet dressing technique, so that they may feel more comfortable in educating patients and families.

    How To Do Wet Wrap For Eczema

    What Is Wet Wrap Therapy for Eczema

    Wet wraps are dressing bandages applied directly to the skin . They have been used widely in the treatment of many skin diseases, especially as home therapy for eczema in children. . Proper education and special care is an important part of this therapy. Application of wet wraps may also be used along with moisturizers and steroid creams depending on the condition of the skin disease. This article will help you find out how to do wet wrap for eczema.

    There are affiliate links in this post. Read my disclosure policy to learn more.

    Wet wrap therapy is basically a form of wound dressing where double layers of bandages or gauze are used. The first and inner layer of the bandage is wet or moist and the second outer layer is applied as dry. Ancient Egypt and Babylonia have used these kinds of dressings with moisturizers that contained honey and oil to treat skin problems and for other healing purposes.

    Since the 1930s, the Mayo Clinic in the U.S. has been using wet wraps to treat eczematous skin conditions. In the 1970s to 80s, different techniques were used, but it was in 1991 that Goodyear published research that followed a series of 30 children with atopic dermatitis, and claimed that the wet wrap therapy was a tremendously effective treatment for eczema.

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    Identify The Eczema Triggers

    Before you set out finding what products to use or try, the most important thing you can do is finding out the cause of flare-ups. The most common triggers for babies are things that touch their skin rather than their environment. Stress can also cause flare-ups. Things to look out for:

    • Fragrances
    • Sweat, check the temperature of the baby
    • Harsh soaps and detergents

    A Note About The Importance Of What Your Baby Wears To Bed

    The clothing your child wears, especially while sleeping, is of utmost importance. After all, you wouldnt want to clothe your little one in something thats going to irritate their eczema-prone skin even more. Because if your child constantly scratches throughout the night, their skin wont be able to fully heal.

    Additionally, its important to protect your babys skin from irritants. If your baby is suffering from eczema due to allergies, youll want to choose pajamas that are hypoallergenic, like Mustelas Stelatopia Skin Soothing Pajamas.

    Mustelas Stelatopia Skin Soothing Pajamas are specifically designed for babies and toddlers with eczema. They are available in sizes 6-12 months and 12-24 months. You can clean the pajamas in the washing machine in cold water , and they are effective for up to 20 washes.

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    How To Wet Wrap Hand Eczema

    Here’s our essential guide to tackling the distressing symptoms of hand eczema using the wet wrapping technique.

    • Soak hands in a bowl of warm water for 15 minutes.
    • Pat your hands dry with a clean, soft towel leave skin a little damp.
    • Apply an emollient ointment thickly to the affected area .
    • Soak, then wring out, your first layer of wraps.
    • The damp wrap layer can be gauze bandages, tubular bandages or specialist eczema close-fitting thin cotton gloves, whichever you find easiest to fit.
    • Put on a dry top layer: this can be ordinary cotton gloves or a tubular bandage.
    • Leave on overnight, or for about 4 hours if using during the day.
    • After 4 hours, take off both layers, and reapply moisturiser to the affected area.
    • You can then reapply clean wet wraps and then clean dry wraps if you like, or wait to wrap until night-time again.

    Skin Salvation is an ideal ointment to use under wet wraps because it protects, moisturises and nourishes and is free from common irritants – and most importantly, is designed so it doesnt sting sore skin when applied!

    See our step-by-step guide to wet wrapping here.

    Important Note

    If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.

    Do not delay getting help if you’re worried. Trust your instincts.

    Find out more on Wetwrapping

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    Bathing Moisturizing And Wet Wraps

    How to apply wet wraps

    People with eczema tend to have very dry skin in general. This is because the disease causes defects in the stratum corneum, or the skin barrier. The skin barrier is the outermost layer of the skin that serves a dual purpose: it protects irritants, bacteria, viruses and allergens from getting into our bodies and it keeps moisture from getting out. Genes, skin trauma such as from scratching or rubbing and inflammation caused by the immune system can all contribute to this defective or leaky skin barrier in people with eczema.

    The most effective way to treat dry skin is to give it the moisture it needs and help it to retain it. Proper bathing and moisturizing are important for this reason especially if you have eczema. The best way to replace and retain moisture in the skin is to moisturize immediately after taking a bath or shower.

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    Are There Any Possible Side Effects

    Wet wrapping to treat moderate to severe eczema is generally well tolerated. However, there are a few potential risks and side effects to consider.

    Covering the skin increases the potency of topical treatments, which may make them more effective. However, a doctor must closely monitor the process, especially if youre using topical steroids.

    Emollients form a layer of protection that seals in moisture, but it can also collect microbes, oil, and irritants, which can cause breakouts and infection. Wet wrapping creates a warm, damp environment that supports bacterial growth and may cause an infection to spread.

    Do not wet wrap if you have any sign of a bacterial, fungal, or viral infection. Watch out for signs of infection such as painful, inflamed, or blistered skin. If your eczema suddenly changes or worsens, stop using wet wraps and reach out to a healthcare professional.

    Its also possible to have an allergic reaction to emollients, especially if you have sensitive skin. Before using any new product to treat eczema, do a skin patch test.

    Here are the steps you can take to do a skin patch test:

  • Place the emollient on a small area of skin.
  • Use gauze to cover the area and keep the area dry.
  • Immediately take off the gauze and clean your skin if you any type of allergic reaction or irritation.
  • If you dont have any adverse reactions within 24 hours, the product is probably safe for you to use.
  • What Is The Best Eczema Fabric For Wet Wrapping : Tewltect

    Remember to always consult your physician or dermatologist before starting wet wrapping therapy. Every child is different, and so is every eczema condition. Follow their instructions on how to wet wrap and seek their advice on how long it is safe to wet wrap. Many healthcare professionals recommend not wet wrapping for longer than a week, because it could start to have adverse effects and dry out the skin. Immediately discontinue wet wrap therapy and Soothems garments and contact a qualified healthcare professional at the first signs of irritation, rash or discomfort.

    Never leave a child unattended in a bath or around water.

    Some parents describe getting a wet garment on their child is like wrestling an alligator, and the entire process can be stressful for caregivers and children. We highly recommend using special fabrics and garments designed to maximize wet wrapping benefits.

    • Soothems are made from skin smart TEWLTect fabric that makes it easier to bring moisture next to the skin naturally and more comfortably. Because the fabric doesnt feel wet and the round smooth fibers dont stick to the skin like cotton, it is easier to get on. The fabric has the right amount of mechanical stretch, so it gives without feeling restrictive and spandex holds the garments shape.
    • Soothems hollow fibers also offer a thermo-regulating property to help keep the body at the right temperature without feeling hot or cold.

    Wet Wrapping Step by Step Instructions

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    How To Wrap It Right

    Nailing your technique will up the chances of the wrap being effective. Wet wraps work best on your extremities, but you could also wrap one around your torso or back if thats where eczema tends to strike. On clean skin, apply your topical prescription medication which is usually a topical steroid . Then wet a piece of fabricthat can be a gauze bandage or even an article of clothing until its damp. Wrap it over the affected area. Make it snug, but not too tight that it affects your circulation. Check with your dermatologist or allergist to make sure the topical steroid prescribed is appropriate for the wet wrap. Sometimes a good moisturizer works as well.

    Soak 100% Cotton Clothes In Warm Water


    For children with widespread eczema you can use fitted pajamas. For children with eczema only on their hand or feet or small affected areas you can use 100% cotton socks, gloves, gauze or strips of cloth. Wring out the excess water and apply the damp clothes or help your child into the wet pajamas. Kids hate this step, I know! Heavily bribe or encourage them with sticker charts for rewards, or screen/tablet time . sells wet wrap pajamas if you have a hard time finding some near you.

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    Wet Wrap Therapy: Step By Step Guide

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    Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a common, chronic skin condition that causes inflamed skin that may crack, ooze, and is intensely itchy. Treatment of atopic dermatitis usually involves medications that are applied to the affected areas of skin. Wet-wrap therapy is a technique used in the treatment of moderate to severe atopic dermatitis in which a wet dressing is placed over the medicated skin.

    How To Wet Wrap

    While wet dressing offers immediate and short-term relief by providing the skin with a cooling and soothing sensation, it can sometimes be difficult to apply especially for children. It works best for more moderate to severe cases of eczema. Here are some simple steps to try wet wrap therapy:

  • Soak the troubled area in lukewarm water for 15-20 minutes. We highly encourage you to use lukewarm water as opposed to hot. This is because hot water has a greater tendency to further dry out eczema-prone skin.
  • Gently pat dry with a towel. Do not engage in any harsh rubbing as this will only exacerbate symptoms.
  • Apply a natural eczema cream and cover with a soft eczema-friendly piece of clothing.
  • Leave on as part of an overnight treatment or for a minimum of two hours.
  • Remove the clothing and reapply a moisturizer.
  • The process can be repeated 2-3 times per day.
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    What Is Wet Wrap Therapy For Eczema

    Wet wrap therapy is a treatment option for intense eczema flares that are accompanied by itching or pain. Wet wraps work for moderate to severe atopic dermatitis, says Kanwaljit Brar, MD, a pediatric allergist and immunologist at National Jewish Health in Denver, where Mary Elizabeth received her treatment. The therapy isnt designed for mild cases. Its considered a rescue therapy, so its something we do to rescue the skin, Brar says. I like to think of it as a skin reset.

    The therapy involves wrapping the affected areas of skin with damp fabric, either for a couple of hours during the day or overnight, which Brar says is the most effective and the most convenient for busy families. The therapy is generally used for a couple of days, according to Seattle Childrens, though Brar says it could be used for up to two weeks for severe cases.

    During the first week of Mary Elizabeths visit to National Jewish Health, the wet wraps were applied for two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon, and overnight.

    Wet Wrap Therapy For Babies Can Be A Boon

    Managing eczema wet-dressings for children

    Atopic dermatitis can start early, appearing in babies as young as 2 to 3 months. Wet wraps are a super option for babies with a severe eczema flare, says Jenny Montejo, MD, a pediatric allergist and immunologist and an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota.

    The treatment has few side effects and can reduce itching, oozing, and irritation, she says, leading to less crying and better sleep.

    Dr. Montejo warns that wet wrap therapy should be used for babies and other pediatric patients only under the direction of a medical provider and with specific instructions for each case.

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    Why Do Dermatologists Recommend These Techniques

    • Can treat severe eczema

    • Allows treatment applied to the skin to work better often when the same treatment failed to work before

    • Can work when other treatments have failed

    These techniques can:

    • Reduce the inflammation

    • Alleviate itch, so a child can get a restful sleep

    • Avoid the need for medicine that works throughout the body

    • Protect the skin from a childs scratching

    If you would like to use one of these techniques, it is important to know that these techniques can be:

    • Messy

    • Involved, so youll need training first

    Treatment Of Atopic Dermatitis In Children

    The first step in the treatment of atopic dermatitis is to educate families about the importance of sensitive skin care measures. Outlining the pathophysiology of atopic dermatitis often helps patients and parents understand the importance of maintaining the skin barrier. The faulty skin barrier in atopic dermatitis leads to transepidermal water loss and must be replaced. Daily bathing in lukewarm water, the use of appropriate soap, and liberal application of emollient at least twice daily is essential for the treatment of all patients with atopic dermatitis. Bacterial colonization and impetiginization, which can exacerbate dermatitis, also must be addressed. Written materials and individualized instructions should be provided for the patient and family. In our practice, we also provide an educational video outlining wet dressing technique.

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