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Old 02-10-2014, 08:03 PM   #1
abbysparkles
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DD picking at her skin! :(

Last summer, my 6 yo DD started picking at pieces of dry skin on her lips. I kept reminding her that wouldn't help it heal but just make it worse. I tried to make sure she had ointment on her lips throughout the day so they would be nice and moist and she'd be more likely to leave them alone. She's been continuing to do it off and on and now she's doing the same thing to her fingertips where she has dry skin. She sometimes comes home from school with little areas on her fingertips where she's picked a small layer of skin off. She always has lip balm and lotion in her backpack so I remind her to use it throughout the day and keep reminding her about how it's not allowing her skin to heal. I offer her incentives for "being kind to her skin" and most of the time it works. We've only had 2 days where it didn't. But I feel so bad for her and I don't know what else to do. Anyone have any ideas/thoughts? Thanks so much!

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Old 02-10-2014, 11:54 PM   #2
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Re: DD picking at her skin! :(

I'm 41 and still do all those things... It's just an absent-minded habit. I had a friend who used to twirl her hair around her finger endlessly.

You might need to substitute something else.? Like something for her hands to play with. If you stop this habit she'll likely just move on to something else.
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:42 PM   #3
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Re: DD picking at her skin! :(

No advice here, just wanted to "bump" this, as my 4 year old does the same thing with her lips. She will pick at them until they are raw and bloody. I have tried a ton of different lip balms, Chapstick, etc... I don't know what else to try. It is an absentminded habit for her, like PP said. She also does it when she is nervous or upset. Hopefully someone has some ideas for us!
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by K&Bmama
No advice here, just wanted to "bump" this, as my 4 year old does the same thing with her lips. She will pick at them until they are raw and bloody. I have tried a ton of different lip balms, Chapstick, etc... I don't know what else to try. It is an absentminded habit for her, like PP said. She also does it when she is nervous or upset. Hopefully someone has some ideas for us!
my 3yo dd picks horribly at her lips as well, not stopping until there's blood everywhere and then she starts crying because it hurts, we put ice on it, it heals enough to scab and then she picks it again. ugh. I don't know what else to try either, and would LOVE to know what on earth causes it!!

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Old 02-12-2014, 06:40 AM   #5
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Re: DD picking at her skin! :(

I agree with it being a habit because I do the same thing. If my lips are completely healed then I don't pick at them but getting them to that point is the hard part. I also can't leave scabs alone as well. Also what type of lotion and chapstick are you using? I would go with some heavy duty stuff to get it healed faster and just because it is in her backpack many times she would still not be able to use it. Many teachers do not want kids "playing" with lotion and chapstick so talk with the teacher about where she can keep it in the classroom to use. Plus out of sight out of mind.
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:47 AM   #6
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The little flakes/peelies are probably driving her crazy and making her pick them off. They drive me crazy too, but rather than pick at them I use my teeth to bite them even. Does that make sense? If I clip off the dead/dry part then I won't peel it. Then put lotion on it. Maybe teach her that? It's the same concept as dealing with hangnails. You clip it rather than peel it.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:03 AM   #7
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I do the same thing. My cuticles look awful. Generally I only do this when bored or nervous. Is she able to have a stress ball or something at school to help her hands stay busy while she is listening to the teacher?

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Old 02-12-2014, 09:13 AM   #8
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Re: DD picking at her skin! :(

Bored, stressed, nervous. Picking fingertips, chewing nails, chewing lips. They all tend to go together. If you can get your LO to substitute a less harmful nervous habit in the short term, and then help them learn to better express/deal with their stress in the long term, that'd be my route of choice.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:16 PM   #9
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Re: DD picking at her skin! :(

My 4yo does that with her lips. We try to keep chapstick on and that does help, but the main thing that has helped is that one time, she picked it until it bled a lot while we were playing at this indoor playspace thing, and I made her leave (it was a lot of blood, health hazard. I wasn't trying to punish!), and that gave her some incentive not to do it. She does try to hide it with her other hand now, which is kinda sad that she knows I'll be upset if I see it, but she is also better about asking for chapstick if she needs it.
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:12 PM   #10
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Re: DD picking at her skin! :(

I've talked to her teacher about it and she will let her get the lotion/chap stick sometimes but not all the time. She doesn't want it "interfering with her learning!" She's in Kindergarten, btw! The craziness of Kindergarten is an entirely different subject so... we've given her a rockin' incentive that seems to be working. And you're all right... it seems to be an absent minded thing. I've seen her mess with dry skin when she's bored. Lanolin has worked wonders for her lips! And I've been putting Neosporin on her fingers and covering them with band aids. They look great now. I hope it's just a passing thing or an issue with learning how to handle the annoyance of dry skin. Just don't want this to turn into something else. Thanks so much for all your feedback! And good luck to you, too. It's so reassuring to hear other Mamas are dealing with the same thing.
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