Wet wraps, bleach baths, and gut health for eczema
Ways to manage eczema symptoms
Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes dry, itchy, and inflamed skin that classically appears on the arms, legs and trunk. It can affect people of all ages, but it is most common in children. There is no cure for eczema, but there are treatments that can help manage the symptoms.
Two of the most effective treatments for eczema are wet wraps and bleach baths. Wet wraps involve wrapping the affected skin in damp cotton clothing or gauze. Bleach baths involve soaking in a bathtub filled with water and a small amount of bleach. Both wet wraps and bleach baths can help to hydrate the skin, reduce inflammation, and reduce itch.
Gut health is also important for people with eczema. A healthy gut contains a variety of good bacteria that help to keep the immune system healthy. When the gut is out of balance, it can lead to inflammation and other skin conditions, including acne, rosacea, psoriasis and eczema. There are a number of things you can do to improve your gut health, such as eating a healthy diet by consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables, taking a probiotic supplement, and avoiding processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol.
Wet wraps are a type of therapy that involves wrapping the affected skin in damp cotton clothing or gauze. Wet wraps help to hydrate the skin and reduce inflammation and itching.
Wet wrap steps:
- Bathe/ Shower for 5 min in warm water with a pH balanced cleanser
- Pat dry
- Add the prescription product to the affected areas
- Apply a liberal amount of moisturizer on your entire body
- Soak a cotton garment or gauze in warm water
- Apply the wet garment or gauze to the affected skin
- Wrap a dry layer of clothing over the wet layer
- Leave the wet wrap on for 2-3 hours or overnight
- Remove the wet wrap and apply moisturizer
- Use soft, absorbent cotton clothing or gauze
- Avoid using synthetic fabrics, as these can irritate the skin
- Make sure the wet wrap is comfortable but not too tight
- If the wet wrap becomes too dry, re-wet it with warm water
- If you experience any discomfort, remove the wet wrap immediately
Bleach baths are another type of therapy that can be used to treat eczema. Bleach baths are the standard of care when it comes to treating atopic dermatitis because it is able to reduce disease severity by reducing itch and improving the skin barrier dysfunction. Interestingly, the actual mechanism by which it does this is unknown, but it is an important tool in the eczema toolkit.
Bleach bath steps:
- Fill a bathtub with warm water
- Add 1/4 cup of unscented bleach to the bathtub
- Soak in the bleach bath for 5 minutes
- Rinse thoroughly with water, pat dry and apply moisturizer
Tips for bleach baths
- Use unscented bleach. Scented bleach can irritate the skin
- Do not add any other products to the bleach bath
- If you experience any discomfort, remove yourself from the bleach bath immediately
- Talk to your dermatologist before using bleach baths
Gut health and eczema
Research has shown that there is a link between gut health and eczema. A healthy gut contains a variety of good bacteria that help to keep the immune system healthy. When the gut is out of balance, it can lead to inflammation and other health problems, including eczema.
There are a number of things you can do to improve your gut health, including:
- Eating a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Taking a probiotic supplement
- Avoiding processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol
Wet wraps, bleach baths, and gut health are all important factors to consider when managing eczema. Wet wraps and bleach baths can help to hydrate the skin, reduce inflammation, and reduce itch. Gut health is also important, as a healthy gut can help to keep the immune system healthy and reduce inflammation.
If you have eczema, talk to your dermatologist about the best way to manage your symptoms. They may recommend a combination of treatments, including wet wraps, bleach baths, and gut health support.