What is less known about the syndrome, but equally concerning is the obsessive skin picking behavior that also accompanies PWS.
- arms, face, scalp
- lips, nose, nasal septum
- toenails, teeth
- and in severe instances, rectum
According to Gourash and Forster, the behavior appears to be "obsessional" but not obsessive-compulsive in nature. Boredom and anxiety are usually the triggers. Medications targeting OCD or anxiety have not been specifically helpful. Although, Topiramate in low doses has been effective for some.
Our current plan of attack????
For his fingers.....Band aids!
And lots of them!
We put them on in the morning.
We put them on before school.
We put them on after bath.
I have given the school several boxes to use during class time.
The clerks at CVS are starting to look at me funny!
Yes, band aids have become a way of life around here.
In fact, we purchase so many, I am thinking of buying stock in Johnson and Johnson!
For us, the picking seems to occur when he is bored. So far, the band aids have been effective at stopping it. We also keep his finger nails cut very short.
"Out of sight, out of mind" seems to be the helpful philosophy as well as keeping his hands engaged in another activity. We use the heavy-duty fabric band aids since he can easily remove the flimsy plastic ones. I would find them stuck to the couch or placed carefully on several of his beloved stuffed animals.
To prevent Nicholas from picking his lips, I found a great product called Eco Lips Lip Care Kit. It is a small kit that consists of lip balm and a variety of carrying devices, necklaces, clips and belt fasteners.
Nicholas prefers the necklace and wears it around his neck. When he has the urge to pick at his lips, he uses the lip balm instead. So far, it works great. The cost for this product is about $20 and may be available in other stores. To visit the Eco Lips store click here.
For those of you also raising a child with skin picking issues:
Posted below is "A Program to Address Typical Skin Picking"
This was developed by the Pittsburgh Partnership.