When skin is so dry and itchy that you can’t even think about anything else, it may be worth trying something called wet wrap therapy. Sure, it sounds like an exclusive spa treatment, but in fact, it’s an easy trick that you can try on your own--and some eczema sufferers swear that it offers real relief. By infusing skin with moisture and keeping it under wraps, you'll calm the flare-up and prevent yourself from scratching the itch directly, so it can heal faster.
A 2014 study suggests that it’s even useful on children with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis. If you’re using a topical medication for your condition, then talk to your doctor first before giving this a try.
Here are the steps:
- Take a bath or shower as usual, making sure it's lukewarm and not at all hot. (Hot water can make itchy skin itchier.)
- Generously apply an emollient, whether it’s your own moisturizer (like Calendula Nourish) or, if your doctor recommends it, your prescription itch medication.
- Dampen cotton gauze (you can get rolls of it in a drugstore) in warm water.
- Wrap it over the trouble spot.
- Finish up with a top layer of dry gauze.
- Leave the layers on for a few hours or overnight.