Wrap therapy soothes children with eczema - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Wrap therapy soothes children with eczema

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Wet wraps offer relief from the discomfort of the skin condition but are not a cure. (Source: NBC News) Wet wraps offer relief from the discomfort of the skin condition but are not a cure. (Source: NBC News)

(NBC News) - Little Lucie Karazim has suffered from severe eczema since she was a baby. At times, the itching was so intense, she'd rub her hands and face raw.

"When it was really bad, she'd scratch until it bled, and then you'd worry about infection," said mother Heather Karazim.

The Karazim family tried different doctors and different medications, including powerful steroids, without significant relief until they found wet wrap therapy offered at National Jewish Health in Denver.

The children soak in a lukewarm bath for about 20 minutes, then doctors apply lotion or mild medicated creams to wet skin, wrap them in wet cloth, then add a dry layer of clothing.

The children stay in this cocoon-like state for two hours. Some have to repeat the process several times a day.

"We know that as that wet wrap therapy cools and dries out, that for a lot of our patients, it has an anti-itch or an anti-pruritic effect which is soothing to them," said Dr. Mark Boguniewicz.

In a study at National Jewish Health, 72 kids averaged a 70 percent reduction in symptoms. The effects lasted for at least a month.

"Now when it gets bad, I know what to do, and we're in a much better place," Karazim said.

Wet wraps are not a cure for eczema but for some, they are a soothing solution.

Although the technique is simple, doctors don't advise doing this at home without proper training because overdoing it may be harmful to the skin.

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