Picking skin

hubby’s carer

New member
Dec 28, 2021
3
0
Hi, a recent new “habit” my husband has started is picking / stroking his face, sometimes on his arms. I presume it’s because he’s bored (he was a carpenter/builder) but can no longer concentrate to do most day to day things. Unable to find things automatically in the kitchen etc….

I’m ashamed to say this, but I find the picking etc irritating and sometimes it makes me feel sick. Could this be down to boredom and maybe anxiety?
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
7,417
0
Nottinghamshire
Hi @Mrs John welcome to the forum.

My dad used to pick his fingers so I know how annoying it can be. He was also a carpenter and before dementia always had a project on the go. I found that giving him something to fiddle with would help. A key ring with old keys on for example. I did think about making him a fidget board but he didn’t show much enthusiasm for the idea so I would just hand him something like the keys or one of my hair ties. He normally lost them so perhaps I should have attached them to a board!

I suspect this sort of thing is probably a type of stimming or self soothing.
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
3,690
0
My dad used to pick his scalp and nothing I could do to stop him, his head was covered in little scabs that looked awful. He eventually stopped as his alzhiemers worsened. Horrible disease.
 

My Mum's Daughter

Registered User
Feb 8, 2020
773
0
I am a picker without dementia and have been for the last 60 years. (this must be what an AA meeting is like)

I pick more if I'm stressed but no matter where I am, if there's a bit of loose skin then it has to go. At times, I will move from my fingers to me toes but thankfully this is only done at home!

My family detest it but unfortunately it seems to be something that I inherited from my picker Dad.

The very worst thing that anyone can do, is to tell me to stop as this will turn my habit into an uncontrollable urge. I then HAVE to pick and try to hide this by shoving my hands under the nearest suitable thing (often a table) and hoping that nobody will notice.
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
6,619
0
N Ireland
Hi, a recent new “habit” my husband has started is picking / stroking his face, sometimes on his arms. I presume it’s because he’s bored (he was a carpenter/builder) but can no longer concentrate to do most day to day things. Unable to find things automatically in the kitchen etc….

I’m ashamed to say this, but I find the picking etc irritating and sometimes it makes me feel sick. Could this be down to boredom and maybe anxiety?
Yes, boredom and anxiety are big players in this - at least they were with my wife.

The cure for my wife required a 2 part approach. In the first instance an increase in anti-anxiety meds that were already prescribed helped. In the second place was an acknowledgement that any scabs will itch and illicit a scratch response so I applied skin thin dressings to the cuts daily. It was a hard slog!
 

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
141,768
Messages
2,033,427
Members
93,346
Latest member
phylax-sam