Skin temperatures were measured using thermistors and a telethermometer while open (gauze roll) or closed (gauze roll plus cotton flannel) dressings were applied to the forearms of adult volunteers and patients. Open wet dressings produced cooling of the area while closed wet dressings produced minor temperature variations. Dry dressings of both types heated the skin. Continuous 24-hour recording revealed that a wet dressing could show a cooling effect for 14 hours or more. Fluids in dressings are necessary to maintain a tolerable temperature. The use of hot (48 to 50 C) or cold (4 to 5 C) water for immersing the dressing prior to application altered skin temperature for only 20 to 45 minutes.
Quinones CA, Winkelmann RK. Changes in Skin Temperature With Wet Dressing Therapy. Arch Dermatol. 1967;96(6):708-711. doi:10.1001/archderm.1967.01610060102021