There is no single eczema cure, but there are ways people can stop eczema itching in babies. These include bathing, creams, wet wrap therapy, identifying triggers, and preventing eczema flares.

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Eczema, often called atopic dermatitis (AD), is a common skin condition that affects up to 1 in 5 babies.

Babies with eczema have itchy, dry, red rashes that ooze and weep fluid. Although there is no cure for eczema, there are ways to treat it at home. However, a person should consult a doctor before trying any home remedies for eczema itching.

This article looks at 12 ways to stop eczema itching in babies and how to identify a skin infection, prevent flares, and prevent damage from eczema itching. We also answer some frequently asked questions.

Parents or caregivers can apply a cool compress to a baby’s itchy skin. A cool compress is a clean towel or washcloth soaked in cool water and then wrung out until damp.

After removing the compress, people should apply baby lotion to the same area.

Petroleum jelly ointments can relieve itching more effectively than creams or lotions. After giving a baby a lukewarm bath, people can apply a thick layer of ointment to the baby’s skin.

Read more about bathing temperature for eczema.

Topical corticosteroids can help reduce eczema itching in babies. Babies are more sensitive to corticosteroids than adults. People should obtain professional healthcare advice before applying corticosteroids to a baby’s skin.

Colloidal oatmeal may help relieve itchy skin when added to a baby’s bath.

Dermatologists recommend adding oatmeal to lukewarm water and bathing the baby in it for 10–15 minutes. Parents or caregivers should leave the baby’s skin damp after drying and then apply baby lotion within 3 minutes of bathing.

People should not let an infant eat oatmeal. They should also take care to prevent a fall or slip, as colloidal oatmeal will make the bath very slippery.

Find out more about oatmeal baths for eczema.

Dressing a baby in clothes that feature fabrics made with smoother fibers, such as super- or ultra-fine merino wool, can help reduce eczema itching.

A person can try distracting the infant with an activity, helping them forget about their itch. Such activities include:

  • telling a story
  • playing with a toy or playing peek-a-boo
  • feeding

People can gently pinch a baby’s skin near eczema patches to reduce itching. Parents or caregivers should not pinch the areas of the baby’s skin that have eczema.

Regular bathing removes irritants that cause eczema and itching on the skin. People can bathe a baby once per day for 5–10 minutes using lukewarm water and fragrance-free cleanser rather than soap.

Topical moisturizers are the mainstay of eczema treatment. Scientists recommend treating eczema by applying moisturizers just after bathing.

Wet wrap therapy is a way to keep skin moist using dampened cloth or gauze dressings. The wraps soothe and rehydrate itching skin and make topical medications more effective.

Caregivers should consult a healthcare professional before starting wet wrap therapy on babies.

The best time to apply wet wraps is just after bathing and applying moisturizer and medication. People should leave the wraps on overnight or for several hours. People can dress a baby in bedtime clothing to help prevent movement from disturbing the wraps.

Keep reading to learn about wet wrap therapy for eczema.

New fabrics can have a finish that causes itching. People may consider washing new fabrics before using them with a baby. These types of fabrics include:

  • new clothing
  • new bedding
  • new towels, blankets, and cloth napkins

Diluted bleach baths reduce skin inflammation and bacteria.

Before using bleach bath therapy with a baby, people should always seek professional advice from a dermatologist.

Biologic drugs are a recent breakthrough in eczema medication. Biologics are made from living sources, such as human or animal cells.

In clinical trials, researchers found that one biologic, dupilumab, was safe and significantly improved eczema symptoms.

Although doctors have approved dupilumab for children over 6 years old, the drug has recently been approved for use in infants over 6 months and children 1–5 years old with moderate to severe eczema.

Eczema triggers can suddenly make a baby’s itching worse. Common triggers are:

  • sweat or saliva
  • dry air or pollen
  • fragrant soaps or shampoos
  • certain detergents or fabric softeners
  • pet dander (tiny skin flecks shed by pets)
  • dust mites in bedding or stuffed animals

Scratching can make eczema worse. Each baby with eczema has different triggers. People can try to identify and eliminate the triggers causing a baby’s eczema. For example, it may help to switch to a different brand of soap. If a person smokes, it is best to avoid smoking around children.

Read more about eczema flares.

Dermatologists recommend that people trim an infant’s nails short and smooth. This helps prevent skin damage from scratching, infection, and bleeding.

People can also use eczema mittens to help babies cause less damage when scratching. Mittens stop fingernails from digging into the skin when babies scratch their affected areas.

Learn more about baby eczema.

Below are some frequently asked questions.

How can a parent identify eczema symptoms?

The main symptoms of eczema in babies are itching and red, raw, or weepy rashes. These often start on a baby’s cheek at 1–6 months old but can spread to the rest of the face.

Infants can also develop rashes on the outer arms or legs or where skin touches other skin. Eczema rashes usually appear in the same place on both sides of the body and can ooze or weep fluid.

Is there a fast cure for eczema itching in babies?

There is no cure for eczema. Caregivers can use treatments or therapies to reduce eczema itching in babies for a time.

However, in most infants, symptoms will resolve naturally by adulthood.

Is there a cure for eczema itching at night?

Doctors can prescribe medication to help with eczema itching at night. People can also use wet wrap therapy overnight.

Although there is no cure, there are many ways parents or caregivers can stop eczema itching in babies at home.

Some common remedies include applying a cool compress, using wet wrap therapy, applying steroid creams, and using specific bathing and moisturizing techniques. Researchers are also developing promising new eczema treatments, such as biologic medications.