There are many ways to manage eczema, and wet wraps for eczema are a very effective method. In many cases, this technique is used in conjunction with other topicals prescribed by your doctor. However in some cases, it can be a satisfactory method on its own.
If dealing with active eczema, wet wraps can be applied twice a day however will ideally be applied at night until it is under control. Take advice from your doctor based on your condition on how many times to apply the dressings. If constantly using the wet wraps, reapply when the applied wet wrap gets dry.
By using wet wraps for eczema the amount of cortisone creams needed to control the eczema will be substantially reduced.
Wet wraps help eczema (atopic dermatitis) by reducing the itch, cooling the skin (the itch is worse when heated), and hydrating the skin.
The video below from the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne illustrates great technique for applying wet wraps, and gives an idea as to what you will need. Please note, Dr Freeman (The Skin Centre lead Dermatologist) advises to always add 1 tsp of salt to every 500ml of water used for wet wraps - this is critical for achieving the anti-bacterial benefit.
Important Tips the Video Doesn't Show
- Although a video on childhood eczema, this is the exact same process for adult eczema, and works just as effectively.
- For paper towels, disposable kitchen towels or even serviettes can be used! No need to buy expensive options at the chemist. Clothing can be used instead of paper towels for large areas, such as the torso. Note they must be tight fitting to serve the right purpose.
- There is no such thing as too much moisturiser, so lather up!
- Only use topical steroids when prescribed by your doctor
NB: For clinical trial patients, please use moisturiser only (no topical steroids)