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You’ve probably heard about wet wrapping, if not, see the step-by-step instructions on how to wet wrap in my post here. But did you know that wet wrapping isn’t a good long-term solution and isn’t necessary for mild to moderate eczema, AND it can be messy and difficult to manage? There is another solution! Dry wrapping.
Dry wrapping is VERY easy to do and you may have tried it without even knowing there was a term for it. Why not try this easy eczema wet wraps alternative?
What is Dry Wrapping?
It’s simply heavily moisturizing the skin and covering it with a dry layer, such as mittens or gloves for hands, for an extended period of time, preferably overnight. Then in the morning, remove the clothing and apply a moisturizer again.
Why does it work?
The dry layer helps hold the moisture next to the skin and is more effective than just applying moisturizer to the skin alone as it will quickly rub off.
What are dry wraps?
Dry wraps are clothes or bandages used to wrap and protect eczema skin. You can use clothing made specifically for dry wrapping, but items you already have at home can work too (pajamas, tube socks for hands and feet, etc). Clothing should be form-fitting. We especially like Remedywear’s clothing for eczema as they use moisture wicking and soft TENCEL with added zinc for it’s antibacterial properties, a great combination!
What do you need to get started?
- Cream or balm/salve
- (1) Set of clothing or bandages/dressings. Exact garments will depend on areas you want to treat, but can include:
- (1) one-piece eczema sleepwear, pajamas or top & bottom (for kids or adults), form-fitting
- (1) turtleneck for wrapping the neck, or scarf
- (2) pairs of long white cotton tube socks to cover hands and feet or eczema mittens and gloves made specifically for hand dermatitis. Remedywear’s gloves for kids or adults are our favorite.
- (1) sets of gauze bandages for wrapping the face and head/scalp or a stay-on infant hat like these hats for eczema.
How to dry wrap step-by-step
Usually dry wrapping is done on specific parts of the body with chronic eczema or an irritating flare up. I like to lather my hands up with cream and slip on a pair of gloves before I go to bed as it really helps the mild eczema I get between my fingers and on the backs of my hands. I do this for my cracked heals too – apply some balm over the dry skin and cover with socks. The next morning my skin is much more hydrated.
Ready to give dry wrapping a try, here are the steps:
- Moisturize the skin with a natural eczema cream or balm/salve of your choice, making sure to liberally apply on the areas of the body that need treating. The skin should be very moist when finished. You may need to go back and apply another layer in some areas before moving to the next step.
- Cover the areas to treat with a dry layer of clothing or bandages, for ideas check out our suggestions above.
- Leave the dry layer on for a minimum of two hours, overnight is best.
- Remove the dry layer and moisturize once again. Continue with step one again during the day if you like.
Tips for dry wrapping and your eczema child
- Try dry wrapping at night for minimal objection from your child. An added bonus, keep the hands covered to prevent night-time scratching.
- Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream works great for dry wrapping. Other popular natural options are Virgin coconut oil and raw, unrefined shea butter.
- Use caution with long wrapping bandages that could become unwrapped, potentially creating a suffocation hazard. This would be of particular concern if the child wears the wraps to sleep.
- Check out eczema clothing for babies and children made specifically for those with sensitive skin and is great for dry wrapping. The Eczema Company also offers clothing for adult eczema as well that would work well for dry wrapping.
The same skin moisturizers work great.
Have you tried dry wrapping? Did it work well for you?