Skin Picking and Itchy skin at night.

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carriedee
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13 May 2013, 2:54 pm

My son has Aspergers and he recently started picking the skin on his fingers. He also complains of an itchy back at night and insists that sleeping in a long sleeve shirt is the only thing that helps. I was watching Temple Grandin on TV last night, at a Q & A in DC, and someone asked about these same problems. She said that she was taking a B complex vitamin and magnesium to help. I had no idea that these were experienced by people on the spectrum. Does anyone else out there experience this?



mikassyna
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13 May 2013, 3:14 pm

Lotion him up real good before bedtime. Also, check for allergies to dust mites, as that could cause itching too. I don't know about supplements but I tend to get itchier at night too, due to allergies as well as hypersensitivities that are more pronounced when I'm trying to sleep.



OJani
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13 May 2013, 3:48 pm

I tend to get itchy at night too. My most sensitive areas are face, neck, shoulders, arms, even the crotch area. Looking for some answers in this topic.


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marshall
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13 May 2013, 3:56 pm

Sounds like eczema to me. I get it on my legs in the winter and on my hands during the summer. I thought it was bug bites at first but it's not. I dermatologist can prescribe anti-inflammatory ointment to use at night. There's also a kind of tape you can get through a prescription to put on your hands to prevent picking and help it heal. I have an annoying callus on one of my fingers that I always pick that's been there for years. I got the tape and it's finally getting better.



carriedee
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13 May 2013, 4:31 pm

Going to call the doctor in the morning about the tape. He picks his fingers so much he has no fingernails on 2 fingers. He does not have eczema that I know of, but he does have Keratosis Pilaris on his arms. There is no redness or irritated skin on his back, which is where he complains that the skin itches, and it only itches at night.



marshall
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13 May 2013, 4:44 pm

carriedee wrote:
Going to call the doctor in the morning about the tape. He picks his fingers so much he has no fingernails on 2 fingers. He does not have eczema that I know of, but he does have Keratosis Pilaris on his arms. There is no redness or irritated skin on his back, which is where he complains that the skin itches, and it only itches at night.

I'm confused. Is it the fingernails or the skin? If it's not eczema the tape won't be useful. What I had was a callus/thickening caused by eczema. The skin would get thick and feel like numb inflexible plastic stuck to my finger. I'd pick it off and it would hurt and bleed, then it would grow right back.



carriedee
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13 May 2013, 5:05 pm

marshall wrote:
carriedee wrote:
Going to call the doctor in the morning about the tape. He picks his fingers so much he has no fingernails on 2 fingers. He does not have eczema that I know of, but he does have Keratosis Pilaris on his arms. There is no redness or irritated skin on his back, which is where he complains that the skin itches, and it only itches at night.

I'm confused. Is it the fingernails or the skin? If it's not eczema the tape won't be useful. What I had was a callus/thickening caused by eczema. The skin would get thick and feel like numb inflexible plastic stuck to my finger. I'd pick it off and it would hurt and bleed, then it would grow right back.


He pick the cuticle around the fingernail. Do you think the tape will work?



marshall
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13 May 2013, 5:15 pm

carriedee wrote:
marshall wrote:
carriedee wrote:
Going to call the doctor in the morning about the tape. He picks his fingers so much he has no fingernails on 2 fingers. He does not have eczema that I know of, but he does have Keratosis Pilaris on his arms. There is no redness or irritated skin on his back, which is where he complains that the skin itches, and it only itches at night.

I'm confused. Is it the fingernails or the skin? If it's not eczema the tape won't be useful. What I had was a callus/thickening caused by eczema. The skin would get thick and feel like numb inflexible plastic stuck to my finger. I'd pick it off and it would hurt and bleed, then it would grow right back.


He pick the cuticle around the fingernail. Do you think the tape will work?


Is there anything visibly inflamed triggering the picking? Is it bumpy? Does it itch? Or does it just feel weird? Can he talk and explain it? The special medicated tape is only for eczema only but there may be something else you can use just to prevent picking. Something to wear on the finger tips.



alexi
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13 May 2013, 5:21 pm

If your son is picking at his fingers to such an extent it is very likely a sign that something is really bothering him. He may not be able to identify what it is or what he is feeling. Best to try to identify if something is triggering this than just trying to heal the skin. Has anything changed in his life/surroundings that he could be feeling distressed about?

I skin picked a lot growing up, I had almost no fingernails either. I can see in hindsight that I was experiencing severe anxiety and overwhelm for years, but I couldn't understand my feelings or that they were not normal. Even now, a dramatic change in my skin picking (or hair pulling for me) is one of the easiest signs for my partner to tell me that something must be bothering me, before I am able to identify it myself.

Separate from this, itchy skin at night- yes! My legs can wake me up all night. For me it is triggered by heat, so I sleep with an ice pack (which helps a lot also to provide some sensory input that I think I must be craving when I scratch) and have also stopped using soap on my legs.



carriedee
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13 May 2013, 5:30 pm

alexi wrote:
If your son is picking at his fingers to such an extent it is very likely a sign that something is really bothering him. He may not be able to identify what it is or what he is feeling. Best to try to identify if something is triggering this than just trying to heal the skin. Has anything changed in his life/surroundings that he could be feeling distressed about?

I skin picked a lot growing up, I had almost no fingernails either. I can see in hindsight that I was experiencing severe anxiety and overwhelm for years, but I couldn't understand my feelings or that they were not normal. Even now, a dramatic change in my skin picking (or hair pulling for me) is one of the easiest signs for my partner to tell me that something must be bothering me, before I am able to identify it myself.

Separate from this, itchy skin at night- yes! My legs can wake me up all night. For me it is triggered by heat, so I sleep with an ice pack (which helps a lot also to provide some sensory input that I think I must be craving when I scratch) and have also stopped using soap on my legs.


He suffers anxiety, and on rare occasion panic attacks. His anxiety has increased since he stared on Concerta, but he had panic attacks before starting the medication. We are working on changing his medication. School has been very stressfull this year. He is in 4th grade.