Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Wet wraps cut need for drugs in kids with eczema

Date:
July 8, 2014
Source:
National Jewish Health
Summary:
One in five children in the US suffers from the painful, itchy skin condition known as eczema. To control their symptoms, many children are prescribed powerful medications like immunosuppressants or topical steroids. Researchers at National Jewish Health in Denver evaluated an approach known as wet wrap therapy to help find simpler, safer treatment options. The therapy has never been used as a standardized treatment for children with eczema. Hopefully, that's about to change.

The number of children with atopic dermatitis, often referred to as eczema, is on the rise. Some estimate that one in five children in the U.S. now suffers from the painful, itchy skin condition. In an effort to control their symptoms, many children are prescribed powerful medications like immunosuppressants or topical steroids.

"Those medications can be effective, but they also can be a cause for concern for a lot of parents, especially when they're used long term," said Mark Boguniewicz, MD, a pediatric allergist and immunologist at National Jewish Health in Denver. "Many families worry about the side effects those drugs might have on their child's blood pressure, or on their bones and kidneys," said Boguniewicz. "The problem is, there aren't many effective alternatives."

To help find simpler, safer treatment options, researchers at National Jewish Health evaluated an approach known as wet wrap therapy. First described in 1987, wet wrap therapy has rarely been studied and has never been used as a standardized treatment for children with atopic dermatitis. "Hopefully, that's about to change," said Boguniewicz.

The technique involves just a few simple steps. First, a child soaks in a bathtub of warm water for about 20 minutes. After the child is removed from the tub, topical medications are quickly applied to eczematous areas and creams or ointments to the clear skin while the skin is still damp. . Then, the child is immediately dressed in wet clothing or wraps to seal in the moisture, followed by a layer of dry clothing. After at least two hours the clothing is removed.

It seems like a fairly simple and straightforward approach, but a new study co-authored by Boguniewicz, Noreen Nicol, PhD, and Mary Klinnert, PhD, in the July issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice shows it can have profound effects. After being treated by health care teams at National Jewish Health, children who underwent in-patient therapy saw an average reduction in symptoms of 71 percent, they maintained healthy skin a month after returning home, and, perhaps most important, did so without relying solely on medications typically prescribed to these patients.

"We took a step up, step down sort of approach to managing their symptoms in this study," said Boguniewicz. "We would apply the wet wraps two to three times a day, depending on the severity of the case, then we would taper the therapy down and only treat the affected areas as time went on," said Boguniewicz. "Over roughly four days we saw dramatic improvements."

In all, 72 children took part in the study, the largest ever for wet wrap therapy, and for the first time their conditions were quantified for their severity using SCORAD (Scoring Atopic Dermatitis) and ADQ (AD Quickscore) measurements. The most severe cases were given a score of 50 and over, moderate cases were classified between 25-49 and mild cases were those that scored less than 25.

"When these children arrived their mean score was right around 50, so they were severe cases," said Boguniewicz. "When they left, their mean score was less than 15. That kind of improvement, in just a short amount of time, was very, very dramatic," he said.

Lucie Karazim, a 4-year-old from Indianapolis, IN, was one of the children who took part in the study. Diagnosed with eczema just four months after she was born, her mother Heather says they saw several doctors and specialists trying to find relief. "It seems like the more doctors we saw, the more we were just adding medications," said Karazim. "We got to the point where we were taking some pretty potent steroids and still nothing was fixing the problem."

In 2012, Lucie was referred to National Jewish Health, and her mother volunteered her for the wet wrap study. "It was very labor intensive the two weeks we were at National Jewish Health, but it was worth it," she said. "The treatment just makes sense, and the best part is, we were able to back off a lot of our medications when we left and established a new baseline for her," said Karazim.

But Dr. Boguniewicz cautions that there is a technique that needs to be followed in order for wet wrap therapy to work. "You can't just try this on your own because overuse can do more harm than good," he said. "You first want to familiarize yourself with the concept at our website and talk to a specialist about it. We have a lot of material that can help you determine if this is the right approach for your child," he said.

To learn more about wet wrap therapy, also known as soak-and-seal, see videos: http://www.nationaljewish.org/healthinfo/conditions/allergy/types/eczema/Tips


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Jewish Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Noreen Heer Nicol, Mark Boguniewicz, Matthew Strand, Mary D. Klinnert. Wet Wrap Therapy in Children with Moderate to Severe Atopic Dermatitis in a Multidisciplinary Treatment Program. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, 2014; 2 (4): 400 DOI: 10.1016/j.jaip.2014.04.009

Cite This Page:

National Jewish Health. "Wet wraps cut need for drugs in kids with eczema." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140708092916.htm>.
National Jewish Health. (2014, July 8). Wet wraps cut need for drugs in kids with eczema. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140708092916.htm
National Jewish Health. "Wet wraps cut need for drugs in kids with eczema." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140708092916.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins