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My 9 year old is "picking" at her skin~When is it considered cutting??

I need to know what exactly is cutting? Why do kids do it?
My 9 year old has always sort of picked at her skin (my dh does it too). She has in the past piked at soars and dug scabs off over and over till they caused small scars. I am really worried since she has gotten some acne at her hair line and started digging. Talking to her about causing infection and scaring does not seem to faze her at all. I am wondering if this is an early sign of something.
She has ADHD and has been on some meds for it BUT I have seen her do this kind of thing before but just not as bad. She actually dug a huge crator where she had a little scab from a small pimple. She has an appointment w/a dermatologist tomorrow. My hope is that even if he just talks to her about how skin heals,maybe it will stop her from doing this to herself.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 1:20 PM on Oct. 20, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (6)
  • cuting is when you physically CUT yourself with a knife, sharp needle etc

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:22 PM on Oct. 20, 2009

  • when she takes a knife, a pair of scissors, anything sharp that can cut. It's a depression thing. What she is doing is just a nervous/bored habbit.

    Answer by amy31308 at 1:23 PM on Oct. 20, 2009

  • cutting is exactly what it sounds like cutting!! It's when your child goes behind clothes doors with a razor or sharp object and slices deep lines into his or her body. My child did this. Your child has got some skin issues and needs to keep her appointment with the dermatologist and get something for her skin irriation. Good luck with that

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:25 PM on Oct. 20, 2009

  • She is not cutting, Cutting is exactly what it sounds like, a person CUTS themselves with some shartp object. My son has been picking at scabs and sores since he was about 6 yr old. It is a nervous habit and the more someone points it out, the more he picks. Watch for signs of infection but otherwise, ignore the behavior. It really does help. My son's doctor suggested this and it really works. Talk to her about infections from picking, and then LEAVE IT ALONE.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 3:53 PM on Oct. 20, 2009

  • Is she doing what is considered scarrification? Just because they aren't using an object doesn't mean it can't be considered a form of self mutilation. As a teen I was depressed and did stuff like that, and yes it can be in the same category as cutting. But I cannot say if it's just picking like a bad habit that she can't stop or if it's emotional just by one post.

    Answer by Steff107 at 7:13 PM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • Steff,I found out later that she was indeed using objects to hurt herself. I had noticed her spending a lot of time in the bathroom w/the door locked. I was curious and started finding a sewing needle,a single earring and a hair clip-all seperate times on the vanity. I lifted up her bangs to find a hole right below her hair line. When I asked about it she started crying. I am not worried about picking just for the sake her behavior-getting on my nerves or what ever. I am worried because scars can be forever,she is a very pretty girl. Who wants their child hurting themselves??? It's a bit scary.
    The soar has healed but now its a very large and very deep scar. I am going to buy her some mederma for kids but she is STILL digging/scratching at her scalp. Can this behavior be stopped??????

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:07 AM on Oct. 26, 2009

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