Eczema Care: What is Wet Wrap Therapy?

Apart from the traditional topical treatments, does applying wet dressings and damp fabrics on the skin also work wonders?

For people with skin allergies like atopic dermatitis or psoriasis, irritated skin and extreme itchiness can be difficult to deal with during intense flare-ups. Luckily, there's a short-term complementary treatment when over-the-counter eczema remedies don't seem to work against the itch, redness, irritation, or rash. 

Recommended by the National Eczema Association (NEA) for those with intense eczema flare-ups, wet wrap therapy is one of the best ways to rehydrate the skin, soothe symptoms of atopic dermatitis, and make topical treatments more effective. 

HOW DOES IT WORK?

By applying wet dressings to your skin, the gauze or fabric, which has been soaked in warm water, cools and hydrates the inflamed skin. Wet wrap therapy, according to NEA, entails applying moisturizer and medication to a flare-up, followed by wrapping the area in warm, damp fabric or gauze, and topping it off with another layer of dry cloth, like cotton pajamas. You can also cover your hands and feet with cotton gloves, gauze, or tube socks.

The wet dressings act as a barrier that keeps medication and moisture in while guarding against excessive scratching. They are wrapped around the inflamed skin for two hours to overnight. 

WebMD even reported that wet wrap therapy works well during intense flares of atopic dermatitis. "When you have severe pain or itching, it hydrates and soothes your skin. It’s good for small or widespread areas," said the health website. 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? 

According to WebMD, wet wrap therapy can help atopic dermatitis in many ways. It may:

  • Cool your skin
  • Help topical corticosteroid treatments work better
  • Help you sleep better
  • Hydrate your skin
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Ease redness
  • Reduce staph bacteria on your skin
  • Relieve itching
  • Stop you from scratching your skin

Recent studies also suggest that children who utilize wet wrap therapy two to three times a day for 2-16 days experience "relief from symptoms a month after the wet wrap therapy." 

HOW TO DO IT? 

Although applying wet dressings on inflamed skin doesn't aggravate the skin, resorting to short-term remedies like wet wrap therapy may not be suitable for your ongoing treatments. We, at Cottonique, advise you to consult with your healthcare provider first before starting wet wrap therapy. 

Wet wrap therapy can be done without a prescription. While most patients can do it on their own at home, dermatologists and allergists can apply wet wraps in their office or in a hospital setting when necessary.

To do wet wrap therapy: 

  1. Moisten the clothing or gauze in warm water until they are slightly damp.

  2. Wrap the moist dressing around the affected area. 

  3. Gently cover it with a layer of dry cloth. You may put on night-time clothing, like cotton jackets, pajamas, or long-sleeved shirts, so as not to disarrange the dressing. 

  4. Leave wet wraps on for several hours or overnight, taking care not to let them dry out.

Wet wraps are best done after bathing, moisturizing and applying medication. You can use clean, cotton clothing or gauze from a roll as a dressing (wet layer) and pajamas or a onesie on top as a dry layer. If the eczema is on the feet and/or hands, you can use cotton gloves or socks.

wet wrap therapy steps by NEA

While many people choose bandages to cover their inflamed skin, the adhesives that make them stick together might not be comfortable for people with skin allergies and sensitivities. The bandage itself could be uncomfortable due to the latex or rubber accelerators. Thankfully, there are other choices available.

INTRODUCING OUR ALLERGY-FREE THERAPEUTIC ARM SLEEVE 

If you're looking for ways to relieve the pain and protect your arm from constant itching, you need not look anywhere else with our Allergy-Free Therapeutic Arm Sleeve, built to safeguard your arms from the inside out.

This hypoallergenic piece, made from 100% organic cotton, serves as a protective layer against allergens and irritants and works as a restorative barrier to rehydrate the skin—suitable for wet wrap therapy. 

It improves the efficacy of topical medications by locking in moisture, allowing the skin to better absorb creams and ointments. Its allergy-free construction provides itch-free coverage from the wrists up to the arms while the latex-free and spandex-free top functionally holds up the garment, ensuring that you experience relief at all times. 

If you want to find out more about our latest creation, click here. You may also read additional information concerning wet wrap therapy through this link.

DISCLAIMER: The information presented on Cottonique is not, and will never be, intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content materials found on this site, from text, treatments, outcomes, charts, graphics, photographs, and study findings, are created and published for general informational purposes only. It should not, in any way, be construed as a standard of care to be followed by a user of the website. 

Thus, readers are encouraged to verify any information obtained from this website with other accurate references and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with their physician. As Cottonique strives to help those with allergies live with better days, the hypoallergenic apparel brand encourages everyone to always seek the advice of their physician or other qualified health providers with any questions they may have regarding a medical condition.

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