A Guide to Wet-wrapping for eczema
Gently does it
Wet-wrapping your child at night cuts the speed at which the skin dries out by keeping a layer of moisture next to the body. The layer of wet clothing locks the moisture in, giving emollients time to completely saturate and penetrate the skin. In addition, as the water evaporates from the wet layer, it provides a cooling sensation for the skin, which can relieve the eczema itch. It's ideal for moderate to severe eczema and results can be significant.
- Run a lukewarm bath and add some Sea-Med natural seaweed powder.
- Encourage your child to stay in the seaweed bath for as long as possible, at least 10 minutes.
- Use a soap substitute such as Aqueous cream or Aquamol. Avoid bubble baths or gels and soaps other than Sea-Med soap.
- Use a soft bamboo wash cloth to very gently slough away any flaky, peeling skin but do not scrub these areas.
- Soak rolls of fabric bandages or lengths of Tubifast or Comfifast tubular bandages and squeeze out the excess.
- Get your child out of the bath and gently pat him or her dry with a bamboo towel or bath wrap. Make sure the body creases are dry.
- Apply steroid cream first, sparingly, just to the areas that need it most. Then cover all affected areas with a thick layer of emollient, such as Epaderm or Aqueous Emollient Cream. If you prefer a natural alternative, try Syrinxza Natural Emollient Eczema Cream.
- Wrap the damp bandage securely but not tightly over arms and legs and round the torso. Tuck in the ends but don't use pins.
- Cover the damp bandages in a dry layer of bandages to keep the damp ones in place.
- You now need a dry layer. Dress your child in a pair of pyjamas or sleepsuit. DermaSilk pyjamas are ideal to use as this dry layer as are these soft cotton sleepsuits with hand and foot mitts to prevent damage from scratching.
- Bandages are really good for dressing patches of severe eczema but where full body wrapping is necessary you will find Tubifast or Comfifast vests, mittens and leggings from your local chemist quicker and easier to use. Dip the whole stretchy garment in the water, wring it out and dress your child in it. Apply creams and emollients as above. Use a second garment as the dry layer. DermaSilk Tubulars are ideal, used wet or dry, for eczema on inner elbows and backs of knees.
Extra Tips for Wet Wrapping Eczema:
You will need to keep your little one distracted as you wet-wrap him. Try a story tape or hand-held computer game.
You may find some useful videos on YouTube showing how to wet-wrap.