The act of impulsive and constant picking of one’s skin to the point of causing damage is called compulsive skin picking in children. It rarely happens that children with dermatillomania also have anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The typical cause of skin picking in children is their inability to express what they feel or what they want to do.
Children who habitually keep their feeling and thoughts about certain events and happenings in their lives have a hard time communicating messages. It is perceived that they internalize the message and privately act it out that is likely to be self-defeating. It is often difficult to ask a child what he or she feels when they have the urge to skin pick, but once it is determined there are specific steps that one needs to take when dealing with children suffering from CSP.
The first thing to do is always make sure that the child’s finger nails are trimmed. Trimming children’s nails will help prevent skin picking and can cause less damage to the skin. You have to make certain that the nails are also clean. This is important, even if it is a very problematical because it will prevent infection caused by skin picking.
As a parent, you can also purchase sets of gloves or mittens or even finger toys for children. It is crucial to involve them in deciding which materials they need to help them treat compulsive picking.
It is also important to remind parents and guardians not to let the child experience stress and anxiety. Nagging about their skin picking habit will not help but it will lead to undue anxiety. Just like in marriage, nagging does not help, because this could lead to anxiety and stress. Amplified stress connect to increased anxiety that would lead to increased picking.
Oral or topical medications are available for physical treatment of skin picking in children. However, you have to be sure that the drugs are formulated for children. It is best to consult a medical profession if you are considering to use psychological treatment, this will allow a better insight about the mental outlook of the child.