Scab Picking Has Turned Tiny Bugbites into Massive Craters, HELP!

Updated on September 25, 2007
C.L. asks from Nashua, NH
5 answers

I just don't know what to do with my 7 year old daughter. Layers of band aids, liquid band aids and alcahol won't keep her from digging at herself and turning her tiniest cuts into giant craters that are really deep and getting infected. I have never in my life seen anything like this and have no idea what to do here. When she is not in the dirrect line of sight, she picks. It is really bad. While she is at school she manages to do the most damage. Has anyone ever had to deal with this or have any idea what to do!?! These craters are more horrible than you could imagine and all the doctor can say is to put band aids on her and no matter how many there are on her, she picks through them all.

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answers from Boston on

I definately think you should look into getting another pediatrician. If the one she's seeing right now isn't concerned, especially with you being so worried about it, he's not doing his job. I would think a good doctor would refer you to a dermatologist and definately a child physcologist. This could certainly have to do with Dad walking out and not being in the picture, a new Dad and a new sister to share the attention with. Good doctors will be able to get to the root of the problem. Good luck!



answers from Providence on

my oldest is a nail biter and picker with age it has gotten better. is this a new behavior or something that has just gotten worse over time? is it just when she has bug bites? it could be a way of her dealing with stress/anxiety. talk with your daughter about the urge to pick and the consequences of infections and come up with a game plan for her to let you know when she's getting the urge to pick or if you notice she's starting to pick take a deep breath and distract her. also when the picking becomes compulsive you may want to put socks on her hands. you should definately get a 2nd opinion regarding this issue. i hope this helped.



answers from Springfield on

Hi C.,
This must be so hard for you to see, your daughter injuring herself like this. Does your daughters' school have a counselor? Since this is something you can't necessarily control for her maybe someone can talk to her and get her to realize maybe what are the triggers for her wanting to do this to must hurt??? I don't think you can put anything on it short of a cast that she won't be able to get through when you're not watching, if she's determined. If it were me I would try talking to her about it, maybe explain to her what the consequences will be (scarring, pain, infection that could be serious and keep her from doing things with her friends etc.) let her know WHY you don't like it and she may be open to discussing it or she may not be. Some might have more luck with a person such as a counselor, the kid might feel more comfortable talking to someone other than their parent they may feel like they will "get in trouble" and as a parent it is really hard not to get emotional when talking about something like this(I would be). Good luck. I really feel for you and your little girl. L. McGovern.



answers from Boston on

Two things that pop out to me. Has she been seen by a dermatologist? That might be helpful. Also, if she is digging at these bug bites, turning into craters, It sounds like a child psychiatrist could be helpful. Maybe this is her way to responding to stress (dad out of the picture, etc.) Maybe a nervous habit? A band aid isn't going to take care of this. You're doing the right thing to question this. Good luck and I hope this helps.



answers from Bangor on

she may have some type of OCD/Anxiety condition. I think seeing a specialist, such as a child psychiatrist might help, or school counselor could be a good start.

one thing you don't want to do is punish her for this (it could make her do this even worse). To get her to open up, you might want to ask if she is feeling anxious, how she is feeling, any stress going on at school, changes in her life etc.

Does she do anything else self-injurious, or have any other behaviors that are changed?

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