Choose Wet Wraps Over Drugs For Kids with Eczema
Eczema is on the rise, particularly in children. However, there are studies emerging that are giving parents and doctors new hope. Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a painful and itchy condition. One in five American children now suffers from eczema.
Powerful medications like topical steroids and immunosuppressants are used to control symptoms, however these drugs can cause concern in a lot of parents. The side effects of long-term use are unknown and topical steroid addiction is a side effect with growing concern (visit http://itsan.org for more information on topical steroid addiction and red skin syndrome).
The best alternative treatment is wet wrap therapy for eczema. Up until July 2014, the wet wraps had not really been studied. However, new studies of wet wrap therapy showed that the practice really does have profound effects with an average reduction in symptoms of 71%. Children who participated in an in-patient study maintained healthy skin even a month after returning home. Of particular note, these children were able to back off from the medication that they had previously relied on including topical steroids.
Traditional wet wrap therapy is effective but can be labor intensive unless you purchase and use specialty eczema wraps designed for the treatment. Parents who participated in the study assure that the results are well worth the treatment. The technique must be followed carefully to insure optimum results. The steps are simple, especially if eczema wraps are used and now these wraps are covered by insurance companies and Medicaid.
- Child soaks in a lukewarm tub of water for 10-20 minutes.
- Child is removed from the tub and patted dry with a clean towel.
- Topical medication is sparingly applied quickly to the affected areas, and creams/ointments generously applied to the skin while the skin is still damp.
- Immediately dress the child in damp eczema wraps made of anti-itch tencel™ fabric. This damp layer seals in the moisture, stops the itch and repairs the skin barrier. It also brings down inflammation and decreases the staph bacteria found on the skin. Do not use wet wraps with dyes or infused with zinc. Studies have not been done with these types of chemicals on the skin with wet garments and inflamed skin. Cotton and synthetic fabrics can harbor bacteria and cause problems. Make sure the fabric is designed for wet wrapping.
- Dry eczema wraps or cotton clothing follows this damp treatment layer.
- Leave as is for at least 2 hours. The eczema wraps stay damp for 2 hours then become an anti-itch dry wrap. Please see the wet wrap therapy diagram below that was developed by the Boston Children's Hospital.
- Many parents report getting the eczema under control with wet wrap therapy then switching to dry wrapping to maintain control.
For more information about the study, visit: http://www.nationaljewish.org/about/mediacenter/p...