Does anyone else have a child that scratches themself so much that they bleed?

[deleted account] ( 20 moms have responded )

My 6 year old son Jordan is scratching a lot lately. He has managed to scratch off two moles in the last few weeks. The school nurse called me two days ago to see what was going on because he keeps coming to the clinic for the scratching. I told her it must be his OCD and that I could not get him to stop doing it at home. I went to eat lunch with him today at school and his arm looked so bad I wanted to cry. He had scratched so hard that it had been bleeding. Is this a normal thing to do?

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Julie - posted on 02/07/2012

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Oh dear, there are so many children out there with these terrible discomforts going on. My ten year old is going through a very itchy phase too at the moment, but not in a way that's hurting him thankfully. He gets a lot of problems with itchy feet (he doesn't have athlete's foot, I've checked), but with him I think it is a sensory thing because he also has terrible problems with his socks - seams in the wrong place, he keeps pulling them up so far that the heel section is half way up his calf. His body has never been very efficient in terms of self regulating for hot/cold so he gets hot very quickly and then gets really itchy to the point of it being really distressing for him. We're thinking of putting him on antihistamines for the next few months to see how he goes but it's difficult finding one that doesn't make him tired or bad tempered (he takes after me unfortunately for being over sensitive to these medications), so not sure what other option we have. It drives him to distraction though, causes massive delays in us going anywhere and impacts on things when we're out and about. We try not to but we often end up getting really impatient with him because it can get to the point where 40 minutes has gone by and we still haven't managed to leave the house! If anyone reading my post can give me any advice on this particular aspect of autism and sensory issues I'd be extremely grateful.

Gloria - posted on 03/22/2013

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my 2 year old also scratches he scrathes his arms legs, tummy and now he started with his face. i put aveeno to see if it works but is not , i try the vaseline also, so now i have to go to his pediatrician and make sure if it is something with his skin or like his speech therapy said it has to do with sensory disorder he might have. so i really wanted to know if there is anything i can do to make him stop scratching.

Jill - posted on 02/05/2012

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I had the same problem with my son starting at the age of six! He is eight now and has pretty much stopped now! He would scratch his legs a lot, enough to draw blood up! We found out that it was due to frustration. It was his outlet! We ended up using the brushing technique, using a surgical brush! You should be able to look up how to do the technique online! It did work! I was told he had sensory disorder and this is one of the symptoms! Good luck I hope this helps!

[deleted account]

Jill, thanks for letting me know about your son and how you handled it. I will find out about the brushing technique and try it. It is so nice to find out that I am not the only one dealing with this problem. None of my family or friends truly understand what I go through. Thanks again!

[deleted account]

Hi, Danielle, no he does not have a rash, eczema, bites, or anything. He just started scratching lately. That's why I thought maybe it was his OCD. Maybe he does it to get attention, i just do not know. Today I told him if he did not scratch or go the nurse at school that he could go to Chuck-e-cheese. As soon as he got home from school he told me he did not go to the clinic and could we go to Chuck-e-cheese. Rewarding the good behavior worked in this case, but I can't do it everyday. I know ignoring bad behaviors sometimes works but he is hurting himself so I hate to ignore it. Any suggestions?

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Denise - posted on 04/13/2014

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part of it is ocd, part of it meds, part of it is totally subconscious, not only does my son scratch but he pulls his eyelashes out.its a subconscious irritation to them. I am sorry but there is no fix, it will either go away or it wont.

Jennifer - posted on 04/10/2014

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Check out my website and ask your psychians if you can give your son a small dose of "greens" my cousins son has autism and never spoke but a few words in 6 years and he started greens and now talks and is thriving! It's all natural couldn't hurt to try and see if it helps
Www.countrygirlchanginglives.com
My contact info is on my site

Katherine - posted on 05/10/2012

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Have you ever tried gloves? Maybe putting gloves on him may work?

[deleted account]

Hi, Bernice. My son does not have eczema, he was just scratching because of anxiety I guess. He was diagnosed as having aspergers, ocd, and adhd in March. The scratching has pretty much stopped, but he still picks his scabs and his lips. You are right about the vaseline, I use it on him all of the time. Thanks for all of the great advice!

Bernice - posted on 05/09/2012

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My 6.5 year old son has mild eczema that is easily taken care of with Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. When he was younger he had prescriptions and pharmacist recommended expensive creams that worked, but never as well as Vaseline. Every time he has a shower/bath, I put it on right after and it prevents the 'rash' from breaking out. If he gets a bit drying I do it after the bath and again right before bed. Now whenever he comes home from his dad's it flares up so bad that the sores are open and bleeding and he is scratching lots. (okay this is my dig at his dad who is useless but insists on 1/2 time so he doesn't have to pay child support) I actually think it is brought on by a couple of things - stress, dirty bed sheets, clothes that aren't clean. So anyway, my recommendation - baths/showers that aren't too hot, and good old petroleum jelly. I know what you mean when you see it about wanting to cry... Good luck!! I'd be interest to hear if you try this and if it works.

Elena - posted on 02/07/2012

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Talk with your child's doc about the scratching. This will a) create medical documentation so it protects you against cps if they ever come knocking on your door and b) will deterime the cause of the scratching (could be an allergy to something).

Julie - posted on 02/07/2012

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I do think some of it is phases, as my son has had various "problems" which suddenly disappear almost as quickly as they appeared, but it can be weeks or months before that happens. He also has underwear issues(!), I have to take the labels out of all of his clothes (at least that's been consistently there since he was about 3 so I'm used to that one!), his current "worst" phase (as there are several running consecutively) is in relation to having a wee, where he thinks he needs to keep squeezing because he thinks there's more to come even though he's squeezed himself dry! Then he takes ages drying himself and the worst part of all of this is that he makes himself feel ill with excessive squeezing and he asks me if he's finished yet (how should I know, except I know there's nothing else coming except a little drip). Really difficult. He doesn't have a bladder infection so I know it's just another phase, a bit like OCD really, but I know it will pass eventually and be replaced with something else. This is the real downside to autism because it's so hard to find ways to help them with these things. Still, I remind myself he could be much worse. I hope you get something sorted out for your son. Must be very distressing for you.

[deleted account]

Wow, Julie sounds like your son has it bad, too. It seems as though my son goes through phases, is that common? It is either picking his lips until they bleed, sucking on his clothes, wiping his face until it is red, and the scratching and picking his skin. Is it because he is stressed out, because he does the scratching mostly at school. I have been really concerned about the scratching moles and scabs off and scratching until he bleeds. I do not like to see him hurt himself. Thankfully he has gone about three days without scratching, his arm is almost healed. I bribed him with chuck-e-cheeses and I told him to suck on his shirt instead of do that and so far he has listened. But I am sure that the problem is not solved, there are always new ones anyways. Thanks to all of you moms who responded and told me about your kids. It is very helpful and encouraging. Good luck to all of you.

Rochell - posted on 02/06/2012

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My son picks his nails until they are so short they hurt and bleed. He goes through different phases as to what he picks. When he is on a picking spree, I put mittens on him. I know they can take them off, my son is 8, but it makes them at least stop to think about why they are wearing them. I don't know if there is much to really help them, my son's meds don't seem to help much, but on phases like this, where he is picking his nails, I just wait and hope it passes soon!

Karen Perlman - posted on 02/06/2012

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My son picks his skin, his arms hands legs, anything he can reach. i try to get his attention turned to other things, but I can't always. Any little thing on his skin he picks. Usually if I can get his attention from it without him realizing that is what I am doing it is ok. But if he knows what I'm trying to do he gets very upset.

Good luck!!

Danielle - posted on 02/03/2012

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Hi, Does he say he is itchy? Has he got a rash at all? Is it worse when he's hot or after a bath or shower?



I went to a homeopath about my son's itchiness and scratching. She gave me a great remedy that worked within a few days.



Good luck!

[deleted account]

Hi Sharlene, yes he does it even when he wears long sleeve shirts. He just pulls them up so he can scratch. One of the moles he scratched off was around his armpit and his shirt did not stop him. I told the nurse I would mention it to his therapist when I see her next week. I go for my first appointment on Monday to see if Jordan needs to be tested for Autism. I have been waiting for two months to get in with the psychiatrist that does the tests. Right now he is only getting speech therapy. Thanks for your response, I will check out the link.

Sharlene - posted on 02/02/2012

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Have you tried putting long sleeve clothing on him maybe , Have you seen his specialist or OT ,see what they can suggest . I also found this I dont known if this might help but read and it might help you but I would go and see his specialist or OT if hes seeing one .http://www.autism-help.org/index.htm.

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