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Nine Year Old Son Suffers from unbearable sensitivity when nails are tr...
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Nine Year Old Son Suffers from unbearable sensitivity when nails are trimmed

Does anyone know what causes exteme fingertip sensitivity in a child?  My son who is nine has been experincing this for several years now.  When we trim his nails, he screams and cries and then cannot touch anything.  We do this at bedtime so he can go to sleep but when he wakes up he constantly puts his fingertips in his mouth to wet them.  We've been to a pediatrician who prescribed a medicine (cream) to apply daily to help dull the sensitivity and the first application sent him into orbit same as trimming.  He said it was greasy and it made his fingers more sensitive so that didn't help at all.  He won't try any lotions, creams, etc. anymore because they worsen the situation.  He also has an aversion to some types of fabrics.  He cannot touch slick - windbreaker type of fabrics because that makes them super sensitive.  He is NOT faking.  We both cry when we have to trim his nails.  If anyone else knows what may be causing this, please respond.  I am desperate.  I feel like I am torturing my child just trimming his fingernails.  His toenails are not this way.  Putting his fingertips in his mouth many times a day is not healthy and is causing him some undesired attention at school.  He says it's all that helps.  I don't even know where to start for medical or psychological help since I'm not sure which this is.
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10 Comments Post a Comment
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632285_tn?1252641988
I'm sure you've thought about this, but how short are you trimming them? I don't belive that there should be any sensitivity in the fingernails themselves, but if you're trimming them too short, it will expose the skin under the nails that might be too sensitive.
Leave a little bit of the nail that extends out when you cut them. You can also try using a nail file to take them down a bit between trimmings. As a kid, I had the same problem when my grandma would trim my nails, they were always too short for me and would hurt for a day or so until the sensitive skin got tough enough again, but when the nails would grow for a while, the skin gained its sensitivity agian.
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Avatar_n_tn
Have you thought of filing his nails?  
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13167_tn?1327197724
It sounds like he has sensory defensiveness.

http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/sensory-defensiveness.html

Can you trim his nails very long - so that he still appears groomed,  but the nails are longer than you'd expect on a boy?
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Avatar_f_tn
I trim my son's nails longer, and sometimes file them

Try
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Avatar_f_tn
My 9 y.o.son has the same problem..I'm going to see a doctor tonight because it is not normal and I feel I need to help my child.
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Avatar_m_tn
   Make sure you ask him about SIDS or sensory integration disorder.
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Avatar_m_tn
You're describing my daughter (now 9) to a tee. She's always been this way and I've never trimmed her nails short. Even a little clip drives her crazy.  She hates filing them as well.  I've tried soaking them like at a salon and that helped a bit.  I've also given her pain meds before bed and applied teething gel and trimmed them while she was in a dead sleep.  She wakes up either while I'm doing it or in the morning she can't use her fingers because of the pain.  I'm thinking it's got to be some type of vitamin/mineral deficiency(sp) Vit B maybe- but I'm going to look up Sandman2's and Rockrose's suggetion of Sensory integration disorder.
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Avatar_m_tn
you are describing me! i am 25 years old and i have had this problem my entire life! i remember waking up and could touch anything because my parents have cut my fingernails when i was sleeping. them problem it is not when they are cutter very deep but even if i cut just a bit of it..it is very annoying and i always end up with big nails, which is something i don't like because i am a man. any help on this matter would be appreciated.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey mate good to hear I'm not the only one, I've never written to a help forum before but I've had this all my life and can't for the life of me figure out what it is. I hate it when about every two weeks my nails are too long to be presentable and I have to cut them. I am most sensitive to fabric and cloth. It usually wears off after about a day but it's always such an awful day. I would love to get to the bottom of this to find out if it is psychological or physical, and how to cure it (therapy?). Please help me with this terrible affliction.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have the exact same problem, and I am a 31 yo male. I always have long nails and it's always such an embarrassment. I work from home on the computer, which both makes it difficult to cut them because I don't have to be seen in public much, and after cutting them I can't work on the computer without the extreme sensitivity. I really hate this problem.
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