How can I keep baby from scratching during an eczema flare-up? Skin Care

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baby's hand covered with eczema
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It's hard enough to see baby uncomfortable from the itch of eczema, but when he hurts himself from scratching, it can be heartbreaking. Get tips from experts and moms who've been through it.

Make Sure Nails Are Short and Filed

"Scratching can worsen eczema and potentially lead to an infection if there is an opening in the skin. To keep your baby from scratching, make sure nails are short and filed. Also, consider slipping on mittens or little socks, or tucking their arms in a longer-sleeve shirt to prevent scratching. If eczema gets persistently worse, consult your physician for an OTC product, such as hydrocortisone cream or ointment, or a prescription treatment." -- Dendy Engelman, MD, Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, New York, NY

Cut Down on Dryness

"I would clean his skin with a lukewarm bath; then, instead of drying him with a towel, allow him to air dry a bit."

Put Mittens on His Hands

"I put mittens on my son's hands at night, so that if he scratches at least he won't dig. Good luck -- it's a long battle that I'm still fighting after three years!"

Keep Her Skin Moisturized

"Lotion will help minimize the itching. You can also try calamine lotion, but you have to make sure you moisturize because calamine lotion can dry out skin."

Distract Baby From Itching

"I often give my daughter little toys to play with to keep her hands busy. This seems to keep her mind off her itchiness, at least for a short time, until I have to switch her toy and keep her interested. What a struggle!"

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.