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SKIN PICKING

Jim- Fife

New member
Nov 27, 2021
4
0
Excuse the odd title for this topic, but it’s something with which my wife seems to be obsessed. She was diagnosed with moderate Alzheimer’s and prescribed Donepezil in October 2020. Daily functioning isn’t too bad but short-term memory, which she feels is getting worse, is a concern. Anyhow, she is continually picking the skin around her nails and the tips of her fingers. Despite my frequently drawing her up about it she seems unable to stop. She maintains it’s “a nervous habit”. I was shocked the other day to see the extent of raw flesh where she had been picking away at her fingers.

Anyone else had experience of this sort of thing with family who have dementia?
 
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rambler123

Registered User
Apr 29, 2015
8
0
Excuse the odd title for this topic, but it’s something with which my wife seems to be obsessed. She was diagnosed with moderate Alzheimer’s and prescribed Donepezil in October 2020. Daily functioning isn’t too bad but short-term memory, which she feels is getting worse, is a concern. Anyhow, she is continually picking the skin around her nails and the tips of her fingers. Despite my frequently drawing her up about it she seems unable to stop. She maintains it’s “a nervous habit”. I was shocked the other day to see the extent of raw flesh where she had been picking away at her fingers.

Anyone else had experience of this sort of thing with family who have dementia?
My husband is also taking Donepezil and has been for past 5 years. He too picks around fingers and bites nails. But he has been a nail biter all his life for some reason. However he now picks at any area of dry skin which will then bleed slightly,
then scab over then he picks again, bleeds more etc etc. He gets red blood (age)
spots on the back of his hands/arms which he has now started to pick at causing them to bleed. I don’t know how he does it as he doesn’t have any nails but he manages!! I rang the doctor just last week about it. Hes taken him off aspirin to try and stop the blood spots . I think you’re wife may have a point in that it’s just a habit. Doctor didn’t think it was anything to do with the Donepezil in my husbands case. It’s not easy to pick at something when it’s well lubricated so I’ve been rubbing an oil called BIO OIL on husbands scabs. It’s a bit pricey but any sort of hand cream and/or cuticle oil may help on your wife’s hands. Hope this helps a bit
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
6,067
0
Nottinghamshire
Hi @Jim- Fife

Welcome to Dementia Talking Point.

My dad was always picking his fingers, even before he was diagnosed with dementia - in fact I suspect he’d probably been doing it since his youth! But I know what you mean - his fingers always looked dry and sore around the nails. I’m not sure that you can do anything to stop the habit but perhaps rubbing Vaseline, or something similar, into her fingers (or getting her to do it herself) might help with the condition of her skin.

It might also be worth considering getting her a fiddle muff or something similiar to give her something to occupy her hands.