Eczema Mistakes that Increase the Itch Make an Appointment Ask a Question Search Conditions This information was reviewed by Elizabeth Gyorkos, PA-C, and Beth Ann Wagy, RN (October 2019) Avoid these common mistakes that make eczema itching worse. MISTAKE: Using lotionCreams and ointments lock in moisture better than lotion. MISTAKE: Washing with soapUse a water rinse and a gentle, fragrance-free, dye-free cleanser. MISTAKE: Not bathing or moisturizingTake a daily bath. Apply moisturizer and medicine within three minutes of getting out of the water. MISTAKE: Applying moisturizer on top of medicationTopical medicine only goes on active rash. Moisturizer goes on clear skin areas. MISTAKE: Not using enough moisturizerApply cream or ointment generously after bathing and hand-washing, and for itching. MISTAKE: ScratchingInstead of directly scratching, sharply pat the itchy area and apply moisturizer. MISTAKE: Scooping moisturizer with your handPrevent contaminating the container by using a disposable spoon or pump to get the moisturizer. MISTAKE: Not drinking enough waterSkin is 60 percent water. Drink plenty of water every day. MISTAKE: Wearing itchy clothingKeep skin covered with natural fibers, such as cotton. MISTAKE: Not wearing gloves in cold weatherProtect hands with silk or cotton liners under your favorite gloves or mittens. MISTAKE: Sleeping under heavy coversChange heavy covers for lightweight, breathable blankets to prevent sweating and itching. MISTAKE: Focusing on scratchingKeep hands busy by playing with a worry stone, stress ball or another item. MISTAKE: Rushing your care planFollow your doctor’s care plan exactly, and ask for help if you can’t get an eczema flare under control. MISTAKE: Not being prepared for the flareKeep a drawer of soak and seal clothing and other supplies ready for eczema flares. MISTAKE: Not talking with school staffEducate teachers, staff and students about eczema — it’s not contagious. Provide moisturizer for your child to use at school for itching.