Baby Eczema: How to Prevent Scratching Eczema?

“Doctor, please help me,” said the first-time mom, tears suddenly streaming down her face. “How can I stop my baby from scratching?”  An Eczema patient herself, this woman had successfully dealt with her own sporadic symptoms for years, but watching her 9-month-old scratching his skin raw was a new form of agony.

“I can’t stand seeing him so red and fussy and obviously uncomfortable,” she said, pleading for help. Cases like this are nothing new in my practice. Babies don’t know they shouldn’t scratch themselves until they bleed. They just know they’re itchy and need relief. In this blog. I’ll help you learn how to prevent scratching eczema in babies.

How to Prevent Babies From Scratching Eczema?

Cut Baby’s Nails

It may seem obvious, but it’s easy to lose track of how long your baby’s nails have grown. While an infant’s nails are thin, they can grow very quickly and do damage. You may need to cut your child’s nails up to twice a week.


  • Cut baby’s nails when they’re asleep or groggy and relaxed after a big meal to minimize squirming. 
  • But don’t overcompensate by over-trimming!  
  • Simply cut along the natural curve of the nail
  • Never trim down the sides of the nail, which can lead to infection.

Keep Them Moisturized

With an itchy eczema baby, applying lotion isn’t a once-a-day ritual.  

  • While ideal times are after bathing or washing, you’ve got to keep your child’s skin moisturized throughout the day. Dewy skin keeps eczema flare-ups and itching at bay.
  • The very act of rubbing your hands across your baby’s skin with lotion can have a cooling, calming effect that may actually be enough to calm an itch. 
  • Then there’s the moisturizer you choose. It’s got to be a pure, fragrance-free, moisturizing eczema cream specifically formulated for sensitive skin. Real-world experience is a major reason I decided to formulate my own Dr. Eddie’s Eczema Cream to feel light and absorbent while being ultra pure and effective. Whatever product you choose, the cooling sensation of a baby eczema cream should ideally spread easily and keep skin feeling fresh.

Cold Compress

Cold compresses can stop your baby from scratching their eczema.  You can use a damp, cold washcloth or an ice pack wrapped in a soft towel. Hold the compress to your child’s skin for a few minutes whenever you notice they need itch relief. You can try this throughout the day, as needed.

Wet Wrap Therapy

Wet wraps are a sort of super-compress best done right before bedtime.  After soaking your child in a lukewarm bath for 5 to 10 minutes, gently pat the skin dry and liberally apply baby eczema cream or any medication your pediatrician may have prescribed.

Then get to wrapping:

Moisten clean gauze bandages with water and wrap the especially itchy areas.

Cover the wet bandages with a dry bandage or towel to lock in the moisture, and leave overnight. You can apply wet wraps on any part of your child’s body that’s especially itchy.

Eczema Mittens

So you’ve done everything, but the baby is still scratching their eczema rashes. They’re tearing up their skin, which exposes them to possible infection, and you’ve just got to figure out how to shepherd them through the worst of their symptoms without scarring.

That’s when you put gloves on them – cotton or silk – to keep them from scratching, especially at night when both of you need to get rest. Thankfully, there are a host of specialty products available to parents today… sleeves, mittens, gloves… all in cool, natural fibers that physically prevent your baby from scratching.

I recommend moisturizing your baby’s skin before putting on any glove, sleeve, or mitten and be sure to moisturize your baby’s face, too.

Distract Your Baby

Try keeping your baby’s hands busy and your mind distracted. You can keep them distracted by engaging them in playing and different activities according to their age like painting, dancing, storytelling, and treasure hunt. The more busy they will be the less scratching they will be doing. 

Soothing Eczema Symptoms

The best way to prevent your baby from scratching is by soothing the itching, inflammation, and irritation associated with eczema. You can soothe these symptoms by following a strict skincare routine that includes the use of

Eczema Shampoo

A soap that bills itself as “99% pure” isn’t pure enough so make sure that you use a gentle eczema shampoo and body wash to cleanse the baby’s skin.  

Choose a product formulated specifically for eczema and other sensitive skin conditions. My own Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Daily Shampoo and Body Wash for Eczema is an example of a product that cleanses and soothes without fear of aggravating eczema.

Eczema Cream

After cleansing the skin pat dry it and moisturize it with a hypoallergenic eczema cream.

Also, make sure that the detergent for the family’s clothes and sheets you are using is free of fragrance and dyes. It may be better to forgo dryer sheets altogether but if they must be used turn to an irritant free version without added scent.

Control the Itch

Even though there is no permanent cure for eczema, there are many OTC medications available on the market that can help control the itching. However, it is best to consult your baby’s pediatrician before using them as too much or incorrect use can be a bad thing.

Some common medications used to soothe and control itching in babies are

  • Topical steroids like hydrocortisone to soothe itching and redness
  • Antihistamines like diphenhydramine to stop the itch

If the skin is not improving with these suggestions it is time to see your pediatrician. There are prescription creams and ointments that used in conjunction with the appropriate skin cleanser, cream, and irritant-free detergents that will make an immediate difference and make your baby more comfortable.

Why It’s Important?

Of course, no caregiver wants to see their baby uncomfortable and fussy in their own skin. One may also be afraid that the baby may scar their skin. It is important to note that this constant itch-scratch cycle of eczema can cause more complications such as:

  • Scratching the itch will only make the condition worse.
  • Scratching and further disrupting the skin barrier will make the skin vulnerable and prone to infections.
  • Broken skin from scratching can cause eczema flare-ups more frequently.
  • Continuous scratching can cause thickening of the skin known as lichenification which can make your baby’s eczema more difficult to treat.
  • Scratching the eczema rashes can cause blisters and sometimes lead to skin bleeding. 


As bad as it may seem at times, remember that you are not alone. Baby eczema is common and — best of all —usually temporary.  You may need to experiment with different approaches to find what works for your child in that phase, but the worst of it will pass. And there are more products, tools, and knowledge available now more than ever before to help battle the itch of baby eczema.

Remember that tearful mom I mentioned at the beginning? The one desperate to help her baby?  She helped her baby. With patience and good information, she made it through her son’s worst phase of itchy eczema.  And that’s what will help you, too… Good information, patience, and a willingness to be open to trying new things. It’s all one step at a time.


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Dr. Eddie Valenzuela is an award winning pediatrician and the founder and CEO of Pediatric Solutions, LLC.

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How do I stop my baby from scratching at night?

Nighttime is when eczema itches a lot. It can be very irritating, especially for the babies. They don’t understand that scratching is not suitable for their eczema and scratch. To prevent them from scratching, you can follow a few simple steps
1 Make them wear light clothing –in layers if needed.
2 Keep a cool temperature in the room.
3 Use lightweight cotton bedding and blankets.
4 Moisturize their skin.
5 Keep their nails well trimmed

Can eczema spread if scratched?

Yes, it is always advised to avoid scratching eczema as it may increase the inflammation associated with eczema, which may lead to worsening skin barrier function.

What complications can occur from baby scratching eczema?

Baby’s skin is very delicate and sensitive, and scratching it due to eczema can cause other skin infections, make the condition worse, and could cause scars on the skin.

How do I stop my baby’s eczema from itching?

The best way to stop eczema from itching is by moisturizing the baby’s skin with an eczema cream. The ingredients in Happy Cappy Eczema Moisturizing Cream can help soothe itching and irritation.

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