wet wrapping saved my son’s skin; it’s a miracle
My son has had severe eczema since birth. Lately, it has gotten worse. His skin is red from head to toe, he is flaky all over, and he has cuts all over just from scratching himself so much. He is itchy more often than not. He is raw and bleeding in places. His skin is thick all over and he’s swollen and inflamed. We’ve tried everthing that the allergist has suggested and although we have made some break throughs here and there, it has gotten really bad recently with almost constant itching.
This week, we had an appointment with a rheumatologist for the first time. One look at him and he left the room, and came back with his camera and four med students or other doctors from the clinic and he took many photos of Jackson’s skin.
The doctor wanted to admit him to the hospital for 3 days to do a process called wet-wrapping. Yes, his skin was that bad.
Because this would require a pre-authorization with insurance, the doctor explained how to do it at home. Well, let me tell you, we’ve had drastic results and I don’t think a hospitalization will be necessary.
We’re using an rX low dose steroid cream that’s called triamcinolone acetonide cream USP .1%. (yes, that’s point 1 percent not just 1 percent) It’s a big tub and it cost less than aquaphor=) In contrast, the copay for elidel I’ve gotten a couple times was more than $40 and I’ve read that it can cause cancer so I don’t want to use the elidel ever again, plus it didn’t really work very well.
Anyhow, I’ve used this particular cream as prescribed by the allergist and didn’t get any results at all so the key here is how we’re using it with the wet wrapping. I’m so thankful for this doctor! You can probably do this with whatever ointment or cream you currently have on hand. In other words, I think it’s the wet wrapping that is doing the trick, not the specific steroid cream we’re using.
Here’s what we’ve been doing:
- Soak for 20 minutes in plain warm water. No oils or soaps necessary.
- Pat dry, leaving a little moisture on the skin.
- Rub the cream on the skin.
- Cover with a warm wet cotton layer that is close fitting to the skin.
- Cover the wet layer with a dry layer, also close fitting.
- Leave on for 3 hours.
- Do this twice a day.
These layers need to be close fitting to the skin. If it’s loose, it would be extremely uncomfortable. I am using Mary’s socks on his arms and Alex’s socks on his legs and it’s working out really good size wise; I just cut the toes off the socks.
If you need to do the torso, you can use cotton pajamas or long johns that are a size too small for the wet layer because once wet, they would stretch out and not be close fitting. You don’t want to have any wrinkles that would irritate the skin.
We noticed a drastic difference after only 2 treatment but now after 4 days, his skin practically looks normal all over except where the worst spots had been–wrists, ankles, in the crevice of the arm, behind the knees and behind the ears.
Four days ago, his skin was angry red with cuts all over and bleeding and bumpy rashes. Now his skin is white and only the worst spots remain. His skin really does look “normal” now.
Plus, he is sleeping through the night. I think I can count on my two hands how many times he has slept through the night. Usually, he woke up twice a night with extremely dry, flaky skin and scratched himself like crazy and crawled into bed with me for comfort. I haven’t had a little boy next to me in 2 nights.
We’re supposed to do this wet wrapping twice a day for 2 weeks. Then not as often, but I do think the wet wrapping will be a long term therapy for him.