Can you use Gauze for Eczema treatments like Wet Wrap Therapy? The short answer is yes, mostly. Eczema is a diverse set of conditions that looks different for each person. So naturally, there cannot be a cookie-cutter treatment for everyone. So how can you figure out whether what you are suffering from is eczema and whether you can use Gauze for Eczema for initial treatments from your trusty first-aid kit gauze wrap rolls to help treat it? Let’s explore.
What is Eczema?
An eczema is a group of conditions that involve the skin getting inflamed or irritated. The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis which refers to eczema in people with a tendency to get allergic conditions e.g., asthma, hay fever, etc.
Eczema is a non-contagious condition that can often be linked to genetic aspects. It affects around 10% to 20% of infants in the U.S., though most children outgrow it by their 10th birthday. Some experience symptoms on and off for life.
Though the condition is incurable; it can be managed through care and diligence. There are treatments available- like hydrocortisone creams, antihistamines, and bio-drugs- and the condition can be mitigated by avoiding allergens and irritants.
Types of Eczema:
A lot of people confuse eczema with atopic dermatitis since it is the commonly known type, but eczema can present itself in many different forms with diverse symptoms. It is important to consult your doctor and understand the exact condition so the treatment administered can be tailored toward your specific condition.
Atopic dermatitis is the most commonly known form of eczema; the two terms are often used interchangeably. It affects more than 7% of American adults, and often first appears in childhood.
Cause: It is usually a genetic condition linked to a tendency for other allergic disorders, like hay fever, asthma, etc.
Contact dermatitis is a form of eczema that occurs when the skin makes contact with an irritant resulting in a rash or allergic reaction. Almost everyone experiences this condition at least once in their life. The triggers are unique to each person.
Cause: the cause can vary depending on the two types of contact dermatitis:
- Irritant dermatitis is linked to people with atopic dermatitis. Triggers may include coarse fabrics, harsh skin care products, soaps and detergents, metals like nickel, industrial chemicals, etc.
- Allergic dermatitis is linked to allergic reactions. Common allergens include poison ivy, some metals, fragrances, rubber, latex, etc.
This is a tricky form of eczema which causes outbreaks of small blisters on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and sides of the fingers.
Cause: It may be triggered by sweating or irritants like metals.
This form of eczema tends to cause one or two intensely itchy patches.
Cause: It is linked to having other forms of eczema or some mental health issues like anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
This coin-shaped eczema often appears after a skin injury like a burn or insect bite.
Cause: It is linked to a genetic tendency for allergies or atopic dermatitis.
This happens in areas of your body with many oil glands, the most commonly known form is called dandruff.
Cause: It is linked to other skin conditions, like psoriasis, acne, rosacea, etc.
This form of eczema happens in people who have poor blood flow, particularly in the lower legs.
Cause: It is linked to lifestyle habits like being overweight and low activity.
Symptoms of Eczema
There are a variety of forms of eczema that appear in different ways on the skin. In addition, flare-ups do not always happen in the same area. If you are experiencing any symptoms that may be linked to eczema, it is wise to contact a doctor so you may receive a professional diagnosis and an appropriate treatment may be prescribed. Common symptoms may include:
- Itchy skin
- Dry skin or dry patches of skin
- Cracked skin and blisters
- The leathery texture of the skin
Dry patches and rashes usually appear in folds of the skin like on the wrist, inside the elbow, on the back of the knees, on the ankle, etc. If ignored, these rashes may worsen in condition leading to painful wounds.
Treatments for Eczema
As we have discussed earlier, there are many different forms of eczema and subsequently many different types of treatments that can be prescribed to combat them. For early pain and itching relief at home, use gauze for eczema initial treatment. It is important to discuss your condition with your dermatologist to devise a treatment plan that is catered to your particular set of conditions. Regular follow-up sessions ensure the working of the treatments and can combat any changes or difficulties that arise in the process. Common treatments prescribed are:
- Healthy lifestyle choices
- Medicated skincare and moisturizers
- Wet Wrap Therapy
- Topical corticosteroid creams
- Biological drugs (in extreme cases)
Though these treatments cannot cure the condition completely, they can help largely mitigate the symptoms, often for prolonged periods, leading to an overall comfortable lifestyle for the patients.
Treatments for eczema are best prescribed by a doctor. However, out of all the aforementioned treatments, wet wrap therapy can be administered at home. It is recommended to use Gauze for Eczema for this type of treatment. It is particularly helpful with cases of atopic dermatitis. It greatly helps rehydrate the skin, soothing itchiness, and irritation. Below are the 6 easy steps that can be followed to use Gauze for Eczema wet wraps treatment with gauze dressings.
How to Use Gauze for Eczema Wet Wrap Therapy
- Step 1: Soak the irritated skin for about 10 minutes or take a bath in lukewarm water.
- Step 2: Gently dry the skin.
- Step 3: Apply moisturizer or medicated ointment prescribed by your dermatologist to the irritated area.
- Step 4: Gently wrap the area with a wet dressing (gauze dampened with lukewarm water).
- Step 5: Gently wrap a dry layer on top of the wet layer (cotton like a t-shirt or pajamas).
- Step 6: Leave on for 2 hours – overnight, according to your doctor’s instructions.
Advantages of Wet Wrap Therapy
Wet wrap therapy helps soothe irritated skin, restoring moisture to the area. Following are some ways in which it can help with atopic dermatitis.
- Reduces inflammation by rehydrating the affected area
- Eases redness
- Soothes itching and irritation
- Mitigates spread by isolating the affected area and reducing staph bacteria on the skin
- Increases the hydrating effects of the moisturizer or ointment
- Helps the effect of medication (like topical corticosteroids)
- Prevents the patient from scratching the skin
A study found that seventy-two children included, who suffered from moderate to severe atopic dermatitis, had reduced severity of symptoms after wet wrap therapy. (Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology on Practice, 2014)
Disadvantages and Risks of Wet Wrap Therapy
While there are a lot of advantages of wet wrap therapy, it can be difficult for some people, particularly aged adults, to administer it without assistance. It also has a few risks to look out for.
- Prolonged usage of wet wrap therapy could result in a skin infection. Always consult your doctor on whether it is advisable to use this treatment and how long to apply it.
- Avoid using wet wrap therapy for more than 1-2 weeks to prevent side effects and infections.
- Wet wraps can increase the absorption of topical corticosteroids, increasing their potency. This could be useful, but it could also be dangerous. It is best to discuss this with your doctor before using it.
- Wet wraps trap moisture, which could cause inflamed hair follicles, which in turn can cause blisters and infections.
Call your doctor if you still have symptoms, or if your eczema worsens or changes. If you feel a fever, redness, pus, or pain, you may be suffering from an infection.
To conclude, yes can use Gauze for Eczema treatment, and can particularly prove beneficial when used dampened in wet wrap therapy. However, one must take care to not overdo it and remain in regular contact with a medical professional to ensure proper treatment and eliminate risks.