Scratches On Baby’s Face – Gentle Ways To Treat It

Babies are so adorable and delicate, with their soft skin and big eyes. It’s no wonder that many parents become worried when they see scratches on baby’s face.

Scratches on such a small baby’s face could haunt anyone. Unfortunately, this scratching cannot be stopped completely, but with some smart steps, it can definitely be decreased, like trimming nails frequently, putting on mittens, swaddling, and moisturizing the area after patting it dry.

We will also provide some tips for preventing baby scratching their face in the first place.

Scratches On Baby's Face

What Causes A Baby To Scratch Their Face?

1. Itchy, Dry Baby’s Skin

One of the most common reasons for babies to scratch their faces is due to itchy, dry, and flaky baby skin. Acne or pimples may develop as a result of dirt and bacteria accumulation, which may cause your infant to scratch his face.

2. The Startle Reflex

Babies are sensitive to light and sound. It’s natural to be startled or shocked by your environment. A shimmering light or a little sound might surprise them as they explore new sensations. That’s what we call the startle reaction, and when they’re startled, babies swing their arms and shake their heads.

3. Explore Their Face

When your kid is finally born, he’ll start exploring his surroundings and body parts, including his face. This means he will reach out to touch his face, which is a natural and instinctive reaction. He’s experiencing new feelings and attempting to make sense of the world around him.

4. Emotional Reasons

When a newborn is unhappy or upset, he is more inclined to flail his arms and legs about in the air. As a result, babies scratch their faces as a means of self-soothing. When children are irritated, they scratch their faces as a way to handle it.

Prevent Scratches On Baby’s Face With These Tips

1. Use A Moisturizer

You can keep your child from scratching his face by keeping him clean. Apply a mild moisturizing lotion to his skin regularly and at least twice daily. Make sure the lotion you’re using is free of parabens, sulfates, and other harmful chemicals because they might cause an allergic reaction or be toxic to a baby’s delicate skin. Do not use baby powder, as it will dry the skin or cause irritation.

2. When He Is Asleep, Trim His Nails

Trim your baby’s sharp nails while he is sleeping. Because a baby’s nails grow quickly, you should do this once every week. When he tries to scratch his face, cutting his nails will prevent scarring. If you intend to trim his nails during the day, get your partner to hold your infant’s hands while you work.

3. Swaddling Your Baby

You may keep your munchkin’s arms from flailing whenever he is startled. Simply wrap him in a swaddling cloth. Swaddling your baby will help to keep his arms still and prevent him from scratching his face. Even if he is startled, he won’t be able to scratch his face.

4. Get A Pair Of Mittens For Your Newborn

Making your baby wear mittens will keep him comfortable and protect him from scratching his face. They have a pleasant, smooth texture and enough insulation around the arm or sleeve to keep him warm. In terms of colors, styles, and sizes, you can choose from a variety of options.

When Do Babies Stop Scratching Their Faces?

Before they are six weeks old, babies have little control over what they do. They learn to move and be conscious of their actions when they are between the ages of four and six months. When it comes to scratching their face, many infants stop right away. However, if scratching their face becomes a habit for them, some newborns might take longer to break the cycle.

If your baby has developed a rash or scratch marks on his face, don’t worry too much. In most cases, it is nothing to be concerned about and will go away on its own. Babies’ nails aren’t tough enough to breach the skin’s barrier. Even if they scratch continuously, only minor marks will remain on their faces as a result of it. Their nails aren’t sharp enough to go through the skin, so there’s no need to worry about bleeding. Baby skin heals quickly.

How To Treat Scratches?

If you discover scratches on the baby’s face, wash it gently and thoroughly. If you decide to apply a moisturizer or antiseptic cream after patting the area dry, go ahead. It is generally accepted that if scratches and cuts are kept moist, they will heal faster. Vaseline, Bacitracin, and Aquaphor are all examples of medicines that moisturize scratched skin while preventing the spread of germs.

If the scratch is minor and shallow, you don’t always need to do so. Make certain you inspect your bandages regularly and change any loose or unclean ones as soon as possible. You should also address the underlying reason for the scratch. A baby’s hands and nails, for example, may need to be covered or treated for dry skin treatment. It is distressing to see your child’s face scratched, but there is little risk of long-term damage or scarring.

You’ll want to be careful about overly deep or multiple reopening of shallow scratches since they’re more prone to infection and scarring. Scratches on the skin’s surface heal swiftly in babies. However, you should pay attention to deeper wounds because they might take longer to close.

What To Do If A Small Cut Starts Bleeding?

A warm bath for your infant is a wonderful way to unwind him. When we say warm, keep in mind that the water should be heated, not scalding. After the bath, apply a soothing lotion or cream to his scratch. This will comfort his skin and alleviate irritation.

If your baby is scratching his or her face at night and the skin starts to break, follow these steps:

  • Comfort your infant and assure him that it’s all right. A nurse or gently sway your baby to keep him occupied!
  • Before you touch the scratches on the baby’s face, wash your hands well. You don’t want to increase the danger of infections or aggravate existing injuries. Before applying lotion to your kid, trim your nails and wash your hands with soap and lukewarm water.
  • When applying pressure to a wound, use a clean wipe,  towel, or bandage, and apply just enough force until the bleeding subsides.
  • Use a soft tissue to gently clean the affected region with lukewarm water and hypoallergenic soap. You want to get rid of any infections and prevent bacterial accumulation.
  • Allow the scratched area to heal naturally and once it has fully healed, moisturize his skin daily.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How long does it take for a baby scratch to heal?

Ans: Bandaging may not be required in all situations. These usually heal in three to seven days. A deep scratch might take 1 to 2 weeks to recover from. A scab may develop over time in certain scratches.

Q2: My baby scratched face; what can I put on it?

Ans: After washing minor wounds, apply a soothing ointment/ vaseline as a treatment for minor scratches, cuts, and scrapes. A recessed chin can also aggravate a baby

Q3: Is breastmilk useful to heal baby scratches?

Ans: Breast milk has antiseptic components and can be used to treat minor cuts to alleviate burning and stinging. The antibody IgA inhibits the development of germs on the wound, which aids in the healing process. Apply breast milk with a cotton pad and allow it to dry fully.

Q4: How to stop a baby scratching head?

Ans: It can be difficult to stop a baby from scratching his head. You can trim your baby’s nails regularly and smooth any sharp edges with an emery board. Apply a soft, comfortable hat or headband to keep their hands away from their face. Finally, try distraction techniques such as playing peek-a-boo.

Q5: Baby scratches their face while sleeping. Do scratches on the baby face go away?

Ans: In a few days, the scab should fall off by itself, and your baby’s face will return to normal. However, if your child scratches or you scratch your baby’s face – you’re not a terrible parent and there is no need to panic.

Q6: Is it normal for babies to have scratches?

Ans: Yes, this is completely normal. Newborns and infants have little control over their hands at this age. Thus, it’s typical for them to unintentionally scratch themselves, especially on the face.


Scratches are a common occurrence in babies and toddlers. They usually heal within a week with little risk of long-term damage or scarring. Typically baby scratches on the face will go away on their own. 

If you’re concerned about your child’s scratching, please consult a pediatrician. Be sure to clean the wound thoroughly and apply a soothing ointment to help your baby feel better. Moreover, try to keep your baby’s nails short and smooth for any sharp edges.

My name is Mark Joseph, and I’m on a mission to help new parents navigate the world of parenting. With over 5 years of experience as a parenting coach, I’m here to provide you with insight into all aspects of pregnancy, childbirth, and raising your newborn baby. Instagram Linkedln Facebook

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