Wet dressing may sound like a slimy salad, but this is no drippy condiment. When it comes to eczema, wet dressings can moisturize stubborn areas that refuse to soften.
Wet dressings, also known as wet wrapping or wet bandages, are especially therapeutic for young children who may have a hard time controlling the urge to scratch. Besides preventing your child from physically making contact with dry patches, wet dressings offer relief from hot, itchy skin.
After bathing, apply any topical medications and follow with moisturizers as per usual. Sop bandages, gauze or paper towels in lukewarm water and start wrapping the affected areas. Top the wet paper towels with a layer of dry bandages and let skin absorb the moisture. Once the bottom, wet layer dries, it's time to remove the wet dressing -- leaving on dry bandages may lead to skin irritation [source: The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, National Eczema Association].
If you don't have access to bandages or gauze, wet clothing can also work. Follow the same steps above but, depending on the area of the body, top wet clothing, like pajamas, with a dry layer or wear a pair of wet socks under a pair of dry socks.
There's another way to moisturize eczema beyond creamy lotions and wet paper towels -- learn more on the next page.