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scab picking
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scab picking

My daughter is 25 years old, she is constantly picking at her skin.  She will scratch until she has a sore.  When she has a scab she will pick at it until it bleeds  then she will let it alone until, it becomes a scab again and the process never ends. Her body is scared up from over the years of picking her skin. Her Dr. perscribed her bactroban cream.   It keeps them from becoming infected.  She once had to have one lanced, We are at our wits end.  I am afraid that she may get something from all the open sores.  We try to keep them bandaged up with keflex bandages and keflex gauze, using the Bactroban cream, but she seems to managed to remove the bandages just to scratch them and then she will cover them back up.  Can you help us please.

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Does your daughter have some developmental disability that necessitates your taking responsibility for her? If she is (apart from this one behavior) otherwise normal, she should consult with a psychiatrist and therapist who can help her with both medication and Habit Reversal Therapy to stop this behavior.
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I don't agree with the drs. answer to your daughters picking problem. I have been dealing with this for years- since I was about eight years old. I have tryed counseling-for over 20 years with 5 different drs. I have gone to dermatologists/ family dr etc, I have tryed hypnotism,self will,meditation, diet,prayer band aides- which I too peal them off in order to pick and peal scabs until they bleed. My whole body is scarred from years of this. I do not like anyone to see  or know about it because I am ashamed. I am a strong person and this just baffles me as to why I would do this to myself.
     I am now nearly 47. Something interesting happened to me this year. I had to be treated with prednisone    for ulcerative colitis. I noticed that my picking behavior while on this drug stopped with absolutely no effort. As soon as I went off the drug I started picking again. Right now My arms are bleeding, red and sore.
I discussed this with my psychiatric practioner who has prescribed all sorts of drugs for depression and habit problems over the years to no avail. She suggested that because prednisone is a strong anti-imflammatory, and it is used to treat severe allergies that I might want to consult an allergist. I have an appointment in early jan and will let you know what happens. also chrons and ulcerative colitis are diseases of the auto immune system which is overactive- in other words my immune system actually kills my good bacteria as well as the bad. I have to wonder if my picking is a response to this immune system that needs/craves infection to fight off.  The prednisone seemed miraculous because I stopped with absolutely no effort. It's a very strong drug with side effects but perhaps I will be prescribed something similiar.  This is my experience- I am not suggesting anything but it will be interesting to see what happens. debbie
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