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A randomised study of “wet wraps” versus conventional treatment for atopic eczema
  1. D Hindley1,
  2. G Galloway1,
  3. J Murray1,
  4. L Gardener2
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, Fairfield General Hospital, Bury, UK
  2. 2North Manchester General Hospital, Delauneys Rd, Crumpsall, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr D Hindley
    Department of Paediatrics, Fairfield General Hospital, Rochdale Old Road, Bury BL9 7TD, UK; dthindley{at}


Aims: To compare two treatments in common usage for children with atopic eczema: “wet wrap” bandages versus conventional topically applied ointments.

Methods: A total of 50 children (age 4–27 months) with moderate to severe eczema were randomised to one or other treatment. Two research nurses supervised the study. The first gave advice and support, and the second, blinded to the treatment modality being used, scored the change in eczema severity over a period of four weeks using the SCORAD eczema severity scale.

Results: Both treatments gave a benefit in overall SCORAD scores (mean change for wet wrap group was 53 to 24; for the conventional group, 41 to 17). There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of overall improvement at four weeks or in the timescale of improvements. The amount of topical of topical steroid used was similar in both groups. The wet wrap group suffered significantly more skin infections requiring antibiotics. Carers reported that wet wraps were less easy to apply than conventional treatment.

  • atopic eczema
  • wet wraps

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  • Published Online First 24 November 2005

  • Funding: supported by a grant from the NHS Research and Development Fund (North West)

  • Competing interests: none declared