How can I help my 6-month-old, who scratches till she bleeds?
Such scratching is most commonly associated with either severely dry skin or with atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is a hereditary condition that causes a red, oozing rash that is frequently very itchy. Some children, though, begin with only the itch, with the rash developing later. This is the reason for the classic adage "the itch that rashes."
It sounds as if you are more-than-adequately moisturizing her skin, but there are a few other steps you can take. Give her short daily baths (no longer than 10 minutes), afterwards applying an anti-inflammatory cream or ointment (you can begin with over-the-counter hydrocortisone) followed by moisturizer to any red areas. Oral antihistamines are also useful, especially before bedtime if the scratching is interfering with her normal sleep pattern. Sometimes stronger medicines are required by prescription, and if secondary infection is present (as it often may be), an antibiotic may be necessary. Therefore, if the above measures are not helpful, have her evaluated by her pediatrician or a dermatologist, who can adjust the regimen as necessary.