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Obsessive scratching


Registered User
Feb 21, 2013
Near Reading
My mum seems to be going downhill fast - anorexia that's been dormant for about 60 years has resurfaced (the fat girl is telling me not to eat) so is losing loads of weight, not taking her meds, won't use the washing machine, wearing old, torn, dirty clothes...and so on. We're in the process of sorting out a care package to address some of these issues but she's also started constantly scratching her face. Some scabs have appeared (maybe down to malnutrition) and she is constantly scratching them. It's as if she can't stop. I've just visited and her face was bleeding the entire time. Awful to see. I cleaned it up but she just can't leave it alone. Any experience/advice would be greatly appreciated. I intend to call the doctor tomorrow.
It's so sad isn't it. She seems to have deteriorated so quickly and whilst I hope that help will be coming soon, there isn't any yet and I feel completely out of my depth with how to help.


Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
North Manchester
"...she is constantly scratching them. It's as if she can't stop..."

Sounds like the notorious 'itch,scratch' cycle.

Is her GP aware of the problem?


Registered User
Oct 3, 2011
Hopefully the GP will be able to sort the health issues for you. A couple of points which may help.
Via our GP a dietician prescribed Fortisip and Calogen Extra - my wife enjoyed and soon gained weight. E45 cream was prescribed for her dry skin. When she scratches or rubs herself she does it repeatedly (associated with her Alzheimers). A care package will help resolve some of the issues and may also help your mums general status. I hope the situation improves soon.


Registered User
Mar 23, 2013
This may seem obvious, but make sure to trim her fingernails down as close as possible and file them smooth. This may reduce the amount of damage she can cause with the scratching. I hope it stops soon. That must be awful. :(