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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:22 PM   #1
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scratching...

Just thought I would add this little tip for those that might run into the same problem we have had with Dad for years. If there is any little imperfection in his skin he will scratch at it until he tears the skin and bleed. It's obsessive with him to "Get it off!". Dad has major sun damage to his skin from years of working outside so he has lots of places that he needs to get off!!

We found a relative simple answer. If there is a place that he finds and scratches we just put Vaseline on it. It softens whatever is annoying him to the point that it is no longer an issue and also makes the skin slick enough that he can't dig in those fingernails and injure the skin. On top of that Vaseline is an amazing healing agent. It has become part of Dad's daily routine to have his arms, hands, and other places rubbed down with Vaseline daily. It is only when it is forgotten that the scratching until he bleeds become a problem again

Love, deb

 
Old 12-01-2009, 03:23 PM   #2
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Re: scratching...

Great tip. I'll keep it on the back burner in case we ever have that issue. Thanks!

Emily

 
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:26 PM   #3
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Re: scratching...

Thanks, Deb. So far we don't have that problem! But give it time and we will get all of them that are available!

Love, Meg

 
Old 12-02-2009, 11:13 AM   #4
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Re: scratching...

Thanks Deb we are having problems with my Mom doing that now. First it was her face, and we got her to stop picking at her face. Now she picks at her arms and makes them look horrible with all the scabs on them. Do you know if the nursing home will allow me to do this for my Mother or should I asked them what they think about.

Julie B

 
Old 12-02-2009, 03:19 PM   #5
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Re: scratching...

If someone is itchy -- check to see if their thyroid is okay. If it is, check to see what may be drying out the skin -- change the soap, etc.

Vitamin E is great for skin problems. You can get Vitamin E oil.

I itched when I was pregnant with both my kids. I know its off-track but wanted to mention that it was because of my liver -- apparently the uterus knocked the liver out of alignment and I ended suffering cholestasis of the liver. it made me itch 24/7 for 3 -4 months (the last trimester) of each one.
I itched from the top of my head to between my toes with very little relief.

So make sure to check the liver as well, if they are itchy and scratching.

Hope this helps as well as what everyone else put here.

CaringSister54

 
Old 12-02-2009, 04:13 PM   #6
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Re: scratching...

I would ask a doctor before using Vaseline. I used it for dry skin many years ago and was told it is not good for the skin because it is water insoluble. Other skin creams are better, even very inexpensive ones.

Good luck - itching is terrible!

Love,

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 12-02-2009 at 04:14 PM.

 
Old 12-02-2009, 07:07 PM   #7
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Re: scratching...

It's not that Dad itches. When he rubs his face or sees a place on the back of his hand he picks at it. It's more picking then scratching. With the extensive sun damage to his skin there are lots of little rough places for him to pick at... and with all the vascular issues and blood thinners over the years he has what they call onion skin. It breaks easily. So he picks at a place and creates a broken place in the skin which scabs over and then he won't leave that alone. When we get one place healed up he creates another one.

Martha, Dad has been to the dermatologist more times than I can remember because of his skin. He has actually had several skin cancers removed. It was the recommendation of the dermatologist to rub his arms and hands down with Vaseline. She said it was the best thing you could use. All I know is that his hands and arms look better when they are rubbed down daily with Vaseline and that is the one thing that keeps him from tearing his skin.

That why I love the medical community so much If you don't like the advice of one you can just go to the next one!!!

Love, deb

 
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