Treatment for Eczema: Wet Wraps - New York News

Treatment for Eczema: Wet Wraps

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WJBK - It's painful and itchy and what causes the skin rash Eczema can be as mysterious as figuring out how to treat it. As many as one in five kids has it, and a new study is out showing that there is a simpler, safer way to care for those kids.

There was a time Heather Karazim couldn't imagine her daughter Lucie enjoying a hot Summer day playing tee ball, shortly after Lucie was born, she developed eczema - a painful, itchy rash on her face, arms and legs that made her miserable.

"She'd scratch until she bled and then you'd worry about infection." said Karazim about her daughter.
Heather saw several different doctors who put Lucie on more and more medications - including powerful steroids, though they made Heather uneasy, they did work.

Doctor Mark Boguniewicz said, "But then as soon as they stop, because they have concerns about side effects of medication, the disease comes back."

Boguniewicz helped study a safer, simpler approach at National Jewish Health in Denver, experts evaluated a process known as wet wrap therapy. After soaking in a tub, lotions or mild medications were put on a child's inflamed skin while still damp. Then, children were covered by a wet layer of clothing to seal in the moisture, followed by a dry layer.  

Boguniewicz said that, "Over roughly 4 days or so, you see this dramatic improvement."

In fact, the study found symptoms improved by more than 70-percent on average, kids were still healthy a month later - and infections were held in check. All without using the medications many doctors have come to rely on.  

Heather and Lucie spent 2 weeks in Denver learning wet wrap therapy, and 2 years later still use it back home in Indianapolis to keep Lucie itch-free. Heather said, "You can't just do it once, I mean, it's doing it a few times depending on how bad the skin is, but I'm a believer."

Wet wrap therapy has been around for nearly 2 decades, but this is the largest study ever to determine its effectiveness. Doctors caution that overuse of wet wrap therapy can be harmful, so you need to learn the proper technique.

For tips on the treatment visit the National Jewish Health website.

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