Thursday, August 4, 2011

How do you stop a picker?


Okay - the problem is, this kid won't stop picking scabs. Now he's started making scabs because I cover up the ones he just made, it makes me crazy of course! Any remedies that have worked for any of you out there in blog land?


Here he is without the bandage - the picture below will tell you more about each scar.


A - started out as a very small scar. Okay let's say - more like a scrape - got it from his older brother throwing a car at him.
B - BandAid Rash - I had to keep him from picking A!
C - Other side of BandAid Rash - but now a full fledge picked on scab - that's why I had the gauze on him, to stop him from attaching this new scab and also A.
D - Small scar - not sure how he got it, but I can usually blame his older brother.
E - Couldn't get to A,B, or C so he started a new one! That happened last night.
F - Huge scar from last November - it took over a month to heal from the "band aid, don't touch, band aid, don't touch" routine.

Really - I am at my wits end - I have tried everything, but he does this at night when he is supposed to be sleeping.

This is only a phase right? He'll get over it I hope - but probably not before he totally ruins his cute little noggin.

37 comments:

Nancy said...

could you put mittens on him in bed? LOL It's a phase and I doubt he goes to college picking his scabs...

Leah S said...

Are the scabs itching him like crazy? Perhaps some lotion or even coconut oil (it has anti-bacterial properties).

I have an extensive essential oil collection, so for the cut itself, I would have probably put myrrh on it (like a liquid bandage), then helichrysum (helps stop the bleeding and repairs the skin). If there's scar issues too, then I'd put the Imortelle blend on that. I know my son likes the treatment and being able to hold the essential oil bottles. I'd never be able to get a bandage to stick on him at this age! :) (He's 14 months.)

-mandy said...

This is so great as another mom. I totally have this problem with my kiddos, as well! I have yet to find a solution. I would love to hear what others have to say about this!

rderrett said...

You could try the mittens that they stick on kids with eczema.

I don't have kids but a lot of the time, the itching is far worse at night so anything to ease that will help him

Sharon said...

My daughter (3yo) and one son (11yo) suffer from eczema and for both its about keeping them cool and rubbing on a lotion that takes the itch away. Also, bribe him......does he want a new toy? This works a treat for me and my kids, especially when the 11yo was younger!!! lol I have also heard other mums tell their children that if they keep doing it that their "insides" might fall out out the holes and we dont want that brain falling out!!!! lol hope that you get a solution that works for you xx

Mommarock said...

Mittens at night, and playdough during the day.. keep those chubbies busy. Even if he has to have the mittens pinned to long sleeve pjs. Make sure to put Vitamin E cream or Neosporin in the boo boos so they don't itch, as that may be why he is itching or picking them. Soft healing boo boos don't get picked as often.

pirate said...

in addition to all those most excellent suggestions about healing, could you make a "pirate bandana" i.e. flat over the forehead and tied in the back like Pirates of the Caribbean?

Your son could have a whole wardrobe of "pirate bandanas" featuring Super Heros, trucks, cars, whatever his interests are.

Thearica said...

I would take him to a determotologist.

He could be doing this in his sleep too... They make an oil from ostriches that is supposed to be great for scars and healing the skin.

Bless your little boys heart. Itching probably makes him crazy and he can't get any relief other than to scratch at it.

A determotologist would be able to really help him. Its a doctor bill but he is going to really mess his little forehead up if he doesn't find a solution.

Dawn said...

ph poor love, he's probably got an itch or its scraping on his balnkeys and then that annoy's him...I had a picker too... I would lather them in Bepanthen cream and try to help soften the scab but not too much... maybe try bribery... pocket money or chocolate or a new truck for the little fellow....not the best advice but in the short term may help...I heard it takes 40 days to undo a habit...replace it with a new one.. and my fellow is 24yo now and has no scars to prove the scabby picking stage...
Hugs Dawn x x x.

Debbie said...

I was/am a picker and have scars to show for it still, as a 50 yr old. It was "chigger bites" on my legs and yes, my friends made fun of me. But now when I get an itch, I can make them worst in just a few scratches. So keep neosporin on the sores--that makes them harder to get a good pick. Believe me, I know. And yes they DO itch. I think some paler-skinned kids are just more sensitive. Good luck...I don't know if it is a habit you can break.

Debbie said...

Oh...keep his nails very short. I mean trim them daily.

robin said...

I have a 13 year old picker. Drives me crazy. She just can't leave a scab alone. She's allergic to some bandaids, but not 3M's Nexcare Comfort bandaids. She picks without thinking.

Auntie Pami said...

Try getting Neosporin with novacaine. I've had surgery and it works great. You can't feel it, I'm allergic to bandaid glue (maybe he is too). The Neosporin helps it heal fast, less itchy and the novacaine numbs the boo-boo. Might be a prescription item. Good luck with the mitten idea. Maybe xs machine quilting gloves? File his fingernails down to the quick so he has no sharp nails to pick with?

Vroomans' Quilts said...

You've gotten some great tips already. First a dermatologist to see if there is an underlying skin factor and he may be alergic to the bandaids (they tend to make skin itch too). Trim nails daily is good advice as well as the night time mittens to keep him from scratching/picking in his sleep. There are oils to help with the repair of scar tissue, but check with a dr. first as he is a child.

Linda said...

A dermatologist recommended "Sarna" to us. It is an anti-itch lotion that is steroid free. It is available at drug stores or Walmart. It works great at taking away the itch. Before that we had tried many cortisone and other salves and ointments.

Tammy said...

Duck Tape! LOL

Stitched With Prayer said...

Well Judi, I can tell that I did the same thing when I was a kid and I did it into elementary school because (we found out later) I was reacting to the adhesive on the bandaids and tapes. I always got blisters on each side of the sore from the bandaids, hence...more sores. The adhesive is still a problem when I need a bandage but I did outgrow the picking habit sometime in early elementary school. I wonder if he is having the same problem I did...the itching where bandages are, or have been. I will still scratch in my sleep if I have a bandaid on. Also, if I don't wash the area good where the tape was, it continues itching until I do. Check for tiny blisters under the adhesive areas when you remove the bandaids because the skin will easily scratch off if it is blistered at all. I'm sure you already know to keep his nails trimmed really short, and if he is doing it in his sleep, maybe slip a sock over his little hands after he is asleep. Sorry I'm not much help. If it makes you feel any better, I remember driving my parents really nuts when I pulled stitches out of my head over and over again when I was between 3 and 4. I also remember your little guys November fiasco...that was a really deep cut, it healed up nicely though. Hope you find a solution soon hon. Hugs...

Stitched With Prayer said...

OOPS, meant to tell you also, that 'paper tape' blisters me the very worst. They never put it on me after surgeries or any medical procedures because I react to it so badly, even though it is supposed to be hypoallergenic. Hugs...

Jami said...

Oh my gosh, poor little man... I know the worry of how their face will look... guh so frustrating... I did the same thing, exclusively at night when I was older... and I can tell you that I did it most of the time with out even realizing it. My fingers just always found their way to the pokey scab... even now I have to really tried hard not to let them wonder when I'm zoning out or just thinking, my husband calls it "picking" lol... it was just a bad habit... but I would for sure try the mittens... you could even get some boxing gloves (not to provoke fighting) but something that he would think is REALLY awesome and only he gets to use... you could call them his super hero gloves! I hope he gets better! :D

greelyrita said...

Liquid Anbesol which is for baby teething pain is a topical anaesthetic. So that's safe. Not the gel, get the liquid - it's an oil. That will keep the scab soft. I use it on mosquito bites or anything irritations. I wish I had known about it when by picker was really little. She still has scars on her face. sigh.

And get hypo-allergenic plasters (bandaids) if you need them for big booboos, for sure.

Leeanne said...

Yikes! he reminds me of my nearly 15 year old when he was that age, he was always falling over,and guess what hit the ground first? HIS HEAD!! We bought some heavy duty measure and cut type plasters ,now these are hard work to get off and very sticky (messy when you do take the plaster off).But we found it to work a treat for the wee picker! Then when there was fancy dress at his older sisters school, we drew on the plaster a scar, put him in frayed edged jeans and red and white striped top and he won the prize as the best 2yr old pirate!

Margaret said...

My daughter has eczema and I frequently have to bandage her up at nights to stop her from scratching. Ask the doctor if there is anything that you can give him to decrease his anxiety with scratching in the middle of the night.

Beth said...

I wonder if the liquid bandage would work? Be sure to get the kind that does not sting. bandaids make me itch too. After surgery, they had taped my epidural up my back. I could not tell which was worse: the incision or the itch I could not reach to scratch!

Patti said...

I was always yelling "Quick picking your scabs!", When one day my little guy looked up at me and said " Mom, chicks dig scars!" He's 27 now ! Hang in there!

Needled Mom said...

He might have an adhesive allergy. I would leave them open and put little mittens on his hands at night.

Dee's Diary said...

My daughter is a nursery nurse and she says (assuming no medical problems):
*make sure you're not babying him, treat him like a big boy and praise him when he acts big
*provide plenty of activities, and when relaxing, try to keep hands full with something tactile egs toy car, makeup brush, sponge etc
*warn him each time you catch him picking, and if he ignores the warning, give a consequence eg naughty step
*don't bother covering them unless there's a medical reason, and try not to let him see you examining him for scabs, you don't want him to equate the picking to your anxiety.

Good luck x

szkornelia said...

I would stop using the BandAid for sure. It makes him rashes (makes at least 3 out of a single one), so clearly he may be sensitive to the adhesive. At least try to use a different type, now there are many different hypoallergic ones out there. The one that causes rashes probably also makes his skin red, and even more itchy. Not to mention that when he scratches the already damaged parts some superficial infections can occur. I would show him to a dermatologist.

Susan said...

I think people have given great advice. Mittens etc.

Keeping the scab soft is also a great way to stop him picking at them. when my son came off his skate board and lost lots of skin the Doctor suggested something that you put over the graze; it heals without hard scabbing and you can replace it or leave it on, depending on how it heals. I don't know what you would call it in the US, but here the best way to describe it is gauze squares in petroleum jelly - totally pre-sterilized so you need to use cotton buds to remove them or sterilized tweezers. Your Chemist/Pharmacy should have some. Since then I've used it on both my kids and they heal so much more quickly without scarring or the hard scabbing. I hope this helps a little. :)

Smeeker082 said...

All really good suggestions I would give you have been given already so I will just feel for you, my boy is a picker on scabs and his nails..even got his toe infected once because he ripped off the nail. And it always sees the picker kids are the kids who are sensitive to bandaids so its hard to cover up the booboo to keep them from picking, Kids..ugh :)

Quiltingdaisy said...

keep them moist and itch free with Neosporin or Cortizone creams

Jessica said...

I have a friend that has picked at scabs while all the rest of us bit our nails growing up. She found the only thing that really works for her is to put something over scraps, bug bites and scabs. She starts with neosporin then a layer of second skin and the third and final layer clear nail polish...that way if she picks at anything the two layers come off and she starts all over again with the layers....

Melissa said...

My 20 yo son used to do this. At one point in time, the entire area between his nose and lip was raw. His doctor said that it was an OCD type of behavior, and, eventually, he just quit picking for whatever reason. It drove me insane!!! I feel your frustration:)

LesQuilts said...

Hi!
I agree, neosporin or polysporin, the kind for kids with the local anesthetic in it for numbing.
I also give prescription for atarax, I don't think you can buy it off the shelf in the USA, but that will also stop the itching, especially at night.
You could try benadryl at night, that will make him sleepy, stop some of the need to pick
I like the idea of the oils, all are moisturizing, so would allow the skin to heal itself. Vit E cream would do the same, but is expensive. What about Aloe Vera? That is super healing and may help with numbing.
I think you have to replace the picking behavior too. Maybe teach him to knit or sew? Maybe one of those colouring packages with the special markers? Would retrack his brain, keep his hands busy.
The mitts would just allow him to rub the skin with something else, ie the mitt.
I know clothes detergents like ABC Tide, Gain, Purell, Purex are all irritating to the skin. I use liquid Cheer, no probs with itchy skin. Maybe use 1/2 the detergent and add an extra rinse in the washer. Akso use 1/2 the liquid softner or dryer sheet, that often helps too!
Some kids just pick, like they suck their thumb or have a blankey or soother, may just have to live with it until he gets to school, then the other kids will make him stop!
Good luck, Leslie

Hayley said...

I am a massage therapist and more of a natural cures type person. To help with scaring, just lightly rub the scar with small circular motions and it will help it from forming up to much of a raised scar. Essential oils I would use would be Lavender, heals skin and is an anti bacterial, and Camomile, which soothes iritated skin.
A brand I HIGHLY recommend finding and using is called "Yes to Carrots". It is an organic skin care line. I swear by it because when my husband had lips so chapped they were cracking and bleading, the lipbalm made by them healed his lips in 2 hours. The products are all organic and have vitamin A and E which are both good for healing wounds and repairing the skin.

Good luck to ya!

badlandsquilts said...

The only comment I'll add, is as many mentioned the rash may be caused by an allergy to the bandaids, but to address it specifically - it could be a latex allergy. Many bandaids are latex free (most target generics are ok). I would put a bandaid on during the day and take it off at night after he is asleep so it'll heal. Good luck!

tellad said...

I mix a formula of benadryl cream and neosporin and dab on it - because they have a tendency to "itch" while healing and if he has sensitive skin it may affect him more so - the small amount of benadryl counteracts the itching, the neosporin helps heal - and use a latex-free bandaid.

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