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Child 6 years is picking until she bleeds excessively
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Child 6 years is picking until she bleeds excessively

My daughter is six years old and has various medical problems including a dandy walker variant and developmental delays. She was diagnosed 2 months ago with ADD with hyperactivity and put on Ritalin. O.5 mg X 2 daily. Prior to the start of the Medicine ( 8 days) she started picking scabs and making sores on her body. Since she started the meds the problem has gotten worse, so bad in fact she has to wear gloves and long sleeve shirt and pants and still is scarring her body. She was started on Luvox 3 weeks ago 25 mg 2 X daily , there was no change, she now since Sunday is taking 50 mg 2 X daily. There has been no change and the problem is increasingly worse. What can we do???? And is how common is this problem in children with Dandy walker variants and developmental delays?? We live in Las Vegas is there any where to get some help??? We are at a loss and she has to be monitered at all times, we need help!!! Thank you in advance.
                   Sincerely Kim
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Dear Kim,

Yes, there is an association among the conditions you describe, though by no means is picking at skin confined to children who display developmental disorders.

You are pursuing two very sensible courses of action - i.e., pharmacological treatment and behavioral/environmental modification. Alleviationof such behavior does not usually occur in a dramatic fashion - it is a matter of gradual progress. So please don't become discouraged.

It sounds, on the basis of your description, that you're in good hands. But it never hurts to obtain a second opinion. Check at such places as Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center or University Medical Center to see if there is a Pediatric Mental Health/Behavioral Health Department where you can seek consultation. And don't hesitate to ask your current providers for suggestions about a second opinion. Often patients are reluctant to ask this question, but it's perfectly sensible.
4 Comments
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Dear Kim,
My mother also has had a problem with picking her skin and making it bleed.  Although she did not tell her doctors about her picking, she was diagnosed by both a clinical psychologist and a psychiatrist with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  The psychiatrist prescribed the combination of Luvox and Buspar for her severe anxiety.  It worked!  She's doing much better.
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Dear Kim,
My 5 1/2 year old daughter also picks her skin.  She finds any scab or imperfection and picks uncontrollably. She has scarred her face and legs in multiple places.  As far as I can remember, this began at about 2 3/4 years of age with mosquito bites.  The picking returned over the next year or so several times until I realized this was a serious, compulsive behavior.  My daughter has other behavioral issues that have been suggested by medical personnel.  Ex:  Attention deficit w/hyperactivity and Oppisitional defiant behavior.  The last year we have been pursuing mostly the Obsessive compulsive disorder.  We have tried different doses of Zoloft and seem to have good results after about 6-8 weeks, but the effectiveness seems to lessen after about 3-4 months.  My daughter is currently taking 75mg Zoloft every morning and 25mg Imipiramine in the evening.  Once again, the picking tendencies seem to be returning.  I can definately relate to your frustration and need for support and some answers.  This is by far the most difficult and frustrating thing I have ever had to deal with.  I feel so powerless and saddened to see my daughter doing this to herself.  If you have any suggestions for medical advice and/or emotional support, please list them on this site.  Thank-you!
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Kim,
My 5 1/2 year old daughter also picks her skin.  She finds any scab or imperfection and picks uncontrollably. She has scarred her face and legs in multiple places.  As far as I can remember, this began at about 2 3/4 years of age with mosquito bites.  The picking returned over the next year or so several times until I realized this was a serious, compulsive behavior.  My daughter has other behavioral issues that have been suggested by medical personnel.  Ex:  Attention deficit w/hyperactivity and Oppisitional defiant behavior.  The last year we have been pursuing mostly the Obsessive compulsive disorder.  We have tried different doses of Zoloft and seem to have good results after about 6-8 weeks, but the effectiveness seems to lessen after about 3-4 months.  My daughter is currently taking 75mg Zoloft every morning and 25mg Imipiramine in the evening.  Once again, the picking tendencies seem to be returning.  I can definately relate to your frustration and need for support and some answers.  This is by far the most difficult and frustrating thing I have ever had to deal with.  I feel so powerless and saddened to see my daughter doing this to herself.  If you have any suggestions for medical advice and/or emotional support, please list them on this site.  Thank-you!
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