Background: During the last two decades wet-wrap treatment (WWT) has been advocated as a relatively safe and effective treatment modality in children with severe and/or refractory atopic dermatitis (AD). Unfortunately, there are still many unsolved issues concerning the use of wet-wrap dressings in patients with AD. Objectives: To make an inventory of the different methodologies and to evaluate the currently available evidence for the use of WWT as an intervention treatment in children with severe and/or refractory AD. Methods: We performed a search of the literature via the online PubMed database. Reference lists from relevant articles were scanned for additional publications. Publications describing a treatment modality for children with severe and/or refractory AD, which included the application of wet dressings, were collected and evaluated using the guidelines of the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York. Results: Twenty-four publications were included for evaluation. Eleven of the publications detailed original clinical studies (study design level 2-4), while 13 revealed expert opinions (study design level 5). Evidence levels did not exceed level 4. Conclusions: Large prospective studies evaluating the efficacy and safety profile of WWT are lacking. We were able to formulate the following conclusions with a grade C of recommendation. (i) WWT using cream or ointment and a double layer of cotton bandages, with a moist first layer and a dry second layer, is an efficacious short-term intervention treatment in children with severe and/or refractory AD. (ii) The use of wet-wrap dressings with diluted topical corticosteroids is a more efficacious short-term intervention treatment in children with severe and/or refractory AD than wet-wrap dressings with emollients only. (iii) The use of wet-wrap dressings with diluted topical corticosteroids for up to 14 days is a safe intervention treatment in children with severe and/or refractory AD, with temporary systemic bioactivity of the corticosteroids as the only reported serious side-effect. (iv) Lowering the absolute amount of applied topical corticosteroid to once daily application and further dilution of the product can reduce the risk of systemic bioactivity.

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doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2133.2006.07157.x, hdl.handle.net/1765/68158
British Journal of Dermatology
Department of Dermatology

Devillers, A.C.A, & Oranje, A.P. (2006). Efficacy and safety of 'wet-wrap' dressings as an intervention treatment in children with severe and/or refractory atopic dermatitis: A critical review of the literature. British Journal of Dermatology (Vol. 154, pp. 579–585). doi:10.1111/j.1365-2133.2006.07157.x