What is Wet Wrap Therapy?
Wet Wrap Therapy for Eczema
Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is a condition characterized as an inflammation of the skin. It is an ailment that brings a sudden rash and makes the skin feel dry, itchy, and flaky. Eczema usually develops early in patients when they are children, but eczema can appear at any age. Those with a family history of eczema, other allergies, or asthma are more likely to develop the condition. The exact cause of eczema is not known and treatment depends on the severity.
Eczema Symptoms Can Include:
The exact cause of eczema has not yet been defined. Though it is believed by specialists to be the body’s overactive response to an irritant. The immune system responds to the irritant by causing areas of the skin to react. Various symptoms of the condition may include one or more of the following:
- Extreme itching
- Scaly skin
- Flaky or peeling skin
Eczema is different for every patient. Your eczema may have different symptoms than someone else suffering from the condition. This is why it’s important to pay attention to your symptoms and work together with a physician to manage your eczema. Your physician can help you monitor your specific conditions and tailor a treatment option to your personal needs.
There is no cure for eczema, although there are many treatments. To effectively treat the condition, it is important to understand that there are different types of eczema. Not everyone who has affected shares the same symptoms. Furthermore, different treatments work well for some people but are less effective for others. Treatment can include over the counter remedies, prescription medications, or lifestyle changes. There are topical, oral, and injectable medications available. For those looking to use less powerful options may choose to take a more gentle route for relief. A treatment option often used to treat severe atopic dermatitis is taking a bleach bath. It is believed that taking a bath with a small amount of bleach added to the water may decrease severe symptoms of eczema. Wet wrap therapy is another method of treating chronic eczema, especially in more intense cases. This method of treatment provides soothing benefits without the added side effects that medications may have.
Benefits Of Wet Wrap Therapy
Wet wrap therapy helps rehydrate the skin by allowing increased moisture to penetrate the affected areas more deeply. When this method is used in combination with topical steroids, more medication is absorbed into the skin. This makes the medication work better. Wet wrap therapy is best performed after a proper bathing and moisturizing routine. Bathing and moisturizing are both essential steps for restoring moisture into dry skin. Increased moisture helps calm the flare-ups and keeps eczema under control. Wet wrapping especially helps children sleep better by keeping them from scratching eczema. Scratching can increase the risk of infection.
Lets Breakdown The Process of Wet Wrap Therapy
Wet wrap therapy is a simple process. Start by soaking in the bath for about 20 minutes. Without fully drying off, apply a medicated ointment to the affected areas as recommended by your doctor. Then apply moisturizer. You can also perform this treatment with just a moisturizer if your doctor has not advised you to use a topical steroid. To do an effective wet wrap you will need two wraps of your choice: one for the wet layer and the other for the dry layer. The following items can be used for the layers of your wraps:
Getting Started With Wet Wrap Therapy
Wet the first wrap in warm water. Then put it over the affected area. Then take a dry wrap and cover the wet wrap. For the feet, you could use white cotton socks for a wet layer then wrap them in thicker dry socks. Cotton gloves could be used for the hands and then covered with latex gloves. Long tube socks can be used on the legs. If you have a larger area to cover you can use gauze or, for a cheaper alternative, use wet washcloths or other clothing then put a tracksuit or long john pajamas over them.
Wet Wrap Therapy Can Help – If Done Correctly
For the best results, it is recommended that you leave the dressings on for several hours or as long as you possibly can. The longer you leave them on, the better the medication will work, and the better the moisturizer will absorb into the skin. The wraps may be slept in overnight, but be sure not to let them dry out. After several hours you may reapply new wraps immediately or remove the dry layer and remoisten the layer underneath by spraying with water. After four days of wrap therapy, you should notice a significant difference in your eczema.
The Wraps Could Be Very Bothersome
The following are a few tips that will help make the treatment go smoothly
- Allow the child to help with the wrapping process if possible. Your child can help with applying treatment and moisturizer.
- Consider keeping your child occupied while wearing the wraps. Books, music, and TV can keep your little one distracted during the process.
- Never leave a small child unattended with face wraps on. Remove face wraps while the child sleeps.
- Be careful not to wrap any area of the body too tightly.
To prevent your child from becoming cold keep them in a warm area or put a warm blanket over them.
Other Key Tips
- Do not use plastic to cover the wraps.
- Throw away used gauze dressings.
- Washcloth dressings before reusing them.
Are There Any Downsides To Wet Wrap Therapy?
There are a few drawbacks of using wet wrap therapy as a method of eczema treatment. The biggest one is that the process is very time-consuming. When you are treating kids this will require much patience as they will be inclined to remove bandages or move about making the process drag out even longer than necessary. Though many parents find that the results are worth the extra effort needed to supervise their children in the wraps, especially if other methods of treatment have previously been ineffective. Another negative side of this therapy is having to gather all the needed materials necessary to complete the wrap session. Luckily, there are ready-made products that can be purchased from the store or even ordered online. These products will most likely be more comfortable to wear compared to using what you have laying around the house.
Wrap-E-Soothe Eczema Sleeves, Tencel Arm or Leg Sleeves for Teens and Adults (Extra Small 8"-13")
- ECZEMA SLEEVES recommended by dermatologists, accepted by National Eczema Association
- ULTRA SOFT arm or leg sleeves provide eczema itch relief to calm and soothe symptoms
- WET OR DRY ECZEMA TREATMENT comfortable under clothing and perfect at night over creams
- THERMAL REGULATING Tencel Lyocell eczema sleeves are eco-friendly, free of zinc & dyes
- MOISTURE WICKING fabric provides a less favorable environment for bacteria, made in USA
MIGHTY BLISS™ Large Electric Heating Pad for Back Pain and Cramps Relief -Extra Large [12"x24"] - Auto Shut Off - Heat Pad with Moist & Dry Heat Therapy Options - Hot Heated Pad
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- MULTIPLE PERSONALIZED HEAT SETTINGS - MOIST AND DRY OPTIONS MACHINE WASHABLE! Low, medium or high temperature heat settings + Can be used moist or dry, Imagine the pain free life you'll make with this.
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Most patients that use wet wrap therapy have success in treating their eczema. Because this process is natural, many who suffer from eczema prefer this method rather than taking various harsh medications. Most see significant improvement in their eczema and the overall moisture retention in their skin. Not only is the process natural and effective, but the results are long-lasting. This therapy makes a huge difference in controlling eczema symptoms and it prevents more extreme flare-ups from occurring as often if at all.
Regardless of the method you choose to treat your eczema, you must find an option that brings you relief. Proper management is essential when dealing with eczema since there is no known cure. The last thing you want is to end up with an infection or to allow eczema to spread and become too difficult to manage. When someone is admitted into the hospital due to ailments caused by eczema they are often wet wrapped for about three to five days. This treatment can be very expensive. Always seek guidance from your health provider if eczema worsens or treatment is not helping.