Scratching can cause severe damage to the skin. The cycle of itching and scratching is very difficult to break. To avoid scratching keep your nails as short as possible and file them down so that the jagged edges dont further aggravate the skin. Wear gloves when you sleep to prevent scratching at night. Try and keep your skin covered with clothing at most times, as this will offer some protection if you unwittingly scratch at the skin. Pinching or rubbing the skin instead of scratching is another option. Using a high quality moisturizing cream can also prevent scratching as this soothes the skin and relieves itching. Wear clothes made out of smooth breathable fabrics and use a mild detergent to wash. Avoid exposing your skin to any substances that could cause an allergic reaction such as metals, perfume, and beauty products.