A wet wrap can help moisturize skin and soothe an eczema flare. Here’s how to make your own.

Eczema is an inflammatory condition that can cause painful, itchy patches of skin. There are different treatments to help soothe your skin and reduce symptoms. Wet wrapping is a treatment option for an eczema flare that causes severe itch or pain.

Wet wrapping can help calm an eczema flare and moisturize your skin. It’s also a great way to help topical treatments work better by increasing their contact with your skin. Research on wet wrapping in adults suggests it can reduce symptoms and improve quality of life in people with severe eczema.

Wet wrapping involves applying a damp cloth or gauze to the affected area of skin and putting a dry layer of material on top. Wet wraps work best if you apply them after you shower or bathe, moisturize your skin, and apply any topical medication.

Sometimes, wet wrapping is done in a healthcare professional’s office, but you can also do it yourself.

Follow these steps to try this at home.

For the wet layer, you’ll need enough clean strips of cotton or gauze to comfortably cover the area of eczema you’re treating. If you’re covering a large area, you can also use close-fitting cotton clothing for the wet layer.

For the dry layer, you’ll need more strips of cotton or another layer of gauze. Depending on the part of your body you’re wrapping, you could also use gloves or socks, or another layer of cotton clothing for the dry layer.

You may choose to have a bath or shower first. If you do this, use warm (not hot) water, and pat your skin dry.

Apply a thick layer of moisturizer or topical medication, depending on your treatment plan, to the irritated area of skin.

Soak the clothing, cotton strips, or gauze in warm water. Squeeze out extra moisture until the wet cloth is damp but not dripping wet.

Wrap the damp cloth or gauze around the area of eczema. Make sure it covers the whole area but doesn’t feel too tight.

Wrap the dry layer on top of the wet layer. You may need to use medical tape or a bandage clip to secure it in place. If you’re covering a large area, you can also use close-fitting clothing as the dry layer.

If you’re wearing clothing on top, make sure you’re wearing something loose that won’t disturb the wet wrap.

Leave the wet wrap on for at least a few hours or overnight.

Remove the wet wrap before it completely dries out, as this can irritate your skin.

A wet wrap can be used as part of managing your eczema. It can soothe painful, itchy skin and help topical treatments work better. You can create your own wet wrap at home.

There are different approaches to eczema management. Make sure to work with your healthcare professional to find the strategies that work for you.