Eczema Wet Dressings

Wet Dressings

For severe cases of eczema, your child’s health care provider may recommend wet dressings to treat his or her skin.  Wet dressings are safe.  They help to relieve itching, heal the skin and help the creams or ointments to be more effective.  It is important to only use wet dressings with the topical creams or ointments as directed by your healthcare provider.

Wet dressings use two pairs of pajamas or sleepers.  They should be cotton and without itchy seems or tags.  The steps to apply wet dressings are below:

  • Apply the recommended creams or ointments to your child’s skin.
    • If you are asked to use a hydrocortisone medicine, this should be applied only to the areas of rash.  Then, all skin that will be covered by the wet dressings should be coated with a thick layer of bland moisturizer.
    • If you are using a thick moisturizer alone, coat all skin that will be covered by the wet dressings with a thick layer of bland moisturizer.
  •  Soak one pair of your child’s pajamas in warm water.
  • Wring out the pajamas until they are damp (not dripping) and put on your child.
  • Cover the damp pajamas with a pair of dry ones.  Do NOT cover with plastic.  The dampness must be allowed to evaporate.
  • Be sure the room is warm enough, but not hot.  The damp dressing should remain damp and not dry out.  You may cover your child in a warm blanket if he or she complains of being cold.
  • Your child may complain at first, but choosing a quiet, passive activity (such as playing a game, reading books, or watching a favorite show) may be helpful.
  • Apply thick, bland moisturizer to all skin after removing the wet dressings.
  • Repeat as recommended by your healthcare provider.