Here's our essential guide to tackling the distressing symptoms of hand eczema using the wet wrapping technique.
(If the sore hands involved are your own, then you’ll need extra help to do the wrapping part, especially if you're using bandages.)
- Soak hands in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for 15 minutes.
- Don’t use soap or body wash; add a little natural emollient oil such as Balmonds Bath & Body Oil if you want.
- Pat your hands dry with a clean, soft towel; leave skin a little damp.
- Apply an emollient ointment thickly to the affected area (Skin Salvation is ideal).
- Soak, then wring out, your first layer of wraps.
- The damp wrap layer can be gauze bandages, tubular bandages or specialist eczema close-fitting thin cotton gloves, whichever you find easiest to fit.
- Put on a dry top layer: this can be ordinary cotton gloves or a tubular bandage.
- Leave on overnight, or for about 4 hours if using during the day.
- After 4 hours, take off both layers, and reapply moisturiser to the affected area.
- You can then reapply clean wet wraps and then clean dry wraps if you like, or wait to wrap until night-time again.
Skin Salvation is an ideal ointment to use under wet wraps because it protects, moisturises and nourishes and is free from common irritants - and most importantly, is designed so it doesn’t sting sore skin when applied!
See our step-by-step guide to wet wrapping here.
In this series of articles about wet wrapping, we’re focusing on using wet wraps with emollient creams, not with topical steroids. Always consult with a doctor or nurse if you’re using steroid creams as their potency may be increased when used under wet wraps and could damage the skin.
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.