A New “Soak and Seal” Treatment for Eczema

Eczema is such an irritating and stressful skin condition. It can be so painful and leave young and old open to infection and cause great emotional stress. When I read about a new treatment for this condition, I wanted to share with you. It is maybe not so much new as it is different and does require a good deal of effort and discipline, requiring strict adherence to a specific protocol for several weeks to give it the best chance of success.


From National Jewish Health in Denver comes research with promising results for children with Eczema, also called Atopic Dermatitis:

“The number of children with atopic dermatitis, often referred to as eczema, is on the rise. Some estimate that one in five children in the U.S. now suffers from the painful, itchy skin condition. In an effort to control their symptoms, many children are prescribed powerful medications like immunosuppressants or topical steroids.

“Those medications can be effective, but they also can be a cause for concern for a lot of parents, especially when they’re used long term,” said Mark Boguniewicz, MD, a pediatric allergist and immunologist at National Jewish Health in Denver. “Many families worry about the side effects those drugs might have on their child’s blood pressure, or on their bones and kidneys,” said Boguniewicz. “The problem is, there aren’t many effective alternatives.”

To help find simpler, safer treatment options, researchers at National Jewish Health evaluated an approach known as wet wrap therapy. First described in 1987, wet wrap therapy has rarely been studied and has never been used as a standardized treatment for children with atopic dermatitis. “Hopefully, that’s about to change,” said Boguniewicz.

The technique involves just a few simple steps. First, a child soaks in a bathtub of warm water for about 20 minutes. After the child is removed from the tub, topical medications are quickly applied to eczematous areas and creams or ointments to the clear skin while the skin is still damp. . Then, the child is immediately dressed in wet clothing or wraps to seal in the moisture, followed by a layer of dry clothing. After at least two hours the clothing is removed.”

The protocol basics are on the National Jewish Health  website, which I have listed the link below. They do not say what specific creams, moisturizers or ointments they recommend, so I recommend you contact them to find out much more information, and be under the care of your local allergist, dermatologist or pediatrician before you attempt this treatment.

“It seems like a fairly simple and straightforward approach, but a new study co-authored by Boguniewicz, Noreen Nicol, PhD, and Mary Klinnert, PhD, in the July issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice shows it can have profound effects. After being treated by health care teams at National Jewish Health, children who underwent in-patient therapy saw an average reduction in symptoms of 71 percent, they maintained healthy skin a month after returning home, and, perhaps most important, did so without relying solely on medications typically prescribed to these patients.”

A 71% reduction in symptoms is huge and will have a great impact on quality of  every day life to be sure.

For more information about this study, click on National Jewish Health in Denver

For a look at the Wet Wrap or “Soak and Seal” protocol click Atopic Dermatits (Eczema) Tips

About Candace

Candy Dye is a Nurse Practitioner and teacher that loves everything about health, wellness, looking beautiful, and being with people who enjoy life and love to have fun!

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