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Alice22
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Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 595
   Posted 1/31/2016 9:34 PM (GMT -6)   
My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's about 6 years ago. Her short term memory is awful, but her long term memory is very good and in most things she's still managing ok, with help from me and caregivers where she lives (independent/assisted living facility). However over the last several months she's developed a terrible habit of picking at her skin to the point where it bleeds. First she starting picking at her nose in 2 spots, then she starting picking at her chin, and now it's the side of her face. Everyone, including me, tells her to stop but she gets mad and says to stop telling her what to do. Her face is always bleeding in one or more spots and I'm afraid she's going to get an infection. Has anyone else seen this problem? I don't know if an anti-anxiety medication would help or not as I don't know if anxiety is driving this behavior. If anyone has any ideas of how to get her to stop picking her skin I would love to hear them! I am at a loss. Thanks.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2005 and rheumatoid arthritis in 1998. On Remicade since 2005 for both diseases. For UC tried sulfasalazine, Lialda, colazal and others which made me ill. Started 50 mg. Imuran July 2015. Use Bentyl, peppermint oil capsules and Gas-X which all help with various UC symptoms during a flare.

Caregiver for mother with Alzheimer's Disease (for Alz. forum).

Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23547
   Posted 2/1/2016 6:48 AM (GMT -6)   
You should talk to her doctor about this. Sounds like a nervous tick. Picking at the skin is highly unsanitary especially if she is breaking the skin and can cause possible skin infections. One thing you can try is if her nails are long, keep them very short.
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma, Alzheimer's, IBS, Co-moderator-UC
Diagnosed Left sided UC '92 - meds: Apriso, Remicade) Unable to tolerate MOST mesalamines* Currently in Remission, IBS, Diverticuliar Disease, Fibro, Sacroiilitis, Raynauds, OA, PA, Rosacea, Psoriasis, Dry eye syndrome and allergies controlled by Zyrtec

Alice22
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 595
   Posted 2/1/2016 9:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks - she actually has a doctor appointment today and I will bring this up. Her nails are already short. I called a hypnotherapist a few weeks ago and he said he didn't think it would work as his suggestions wouldn't "anchor" due to the Alzheimer's. I'll see if the doctor has any ideas but based on my experience in the past I'm not very hopeful. But maybe I'll be wrong. Thanks for your reply.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2005 and rheumatoid arthritis in 1998. On Remicade since 2005 for both diseases. For UC tried sulfasalazine, Lialda, colazal and others which made me ill. Started 50 mg. Imuran July 2015. Use Bentyl, peppermint oil capsules and Gas-X which all help with various UC symptoms during a flare.

Caregiver for mother with Alzheimer's Disease (for Alz. forum).

Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23547
   Posted 2/1/2016 6:56 PM (GMT -6)   
How did her doc appt go?
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma, Alzheimer's, IBS, Co-moderator-UC
Diagnosed Left sided UC '92 - meds: Apriso, Remicade) Unable to tolerate MOST mesalamines* Currently in Remission, IBS, Diverticuliar Disease, Fibro, Sacroiilitis, Raynauds, OA, PA, Rosacea, Psoriasis, Dry eye syndrome and allergies controlled by Zyrtec

Alice22
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 595
   Posted 2/1/2016 9:34 PM (GMT -6)   
It actually went better than anticipated. He suggested a very low dose (half of 20 mg) of celexa. I reminded him that she takes 1/2 xanax at night and he said that was ok. So I will start her on that within a couple of days and see if it helps. He said if it doesn't we can increase the dose but I'm afraid to do that. Hopefully the 1/2 20 mg pill will help. He specializes in care for the elderly so I'm hoping he knows what he's doing in prescribing the celexa over other meds.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2005 and rheumatoid arthritis in 1998. On Remicade since 2005 for both diseases. For UC tried sulfasalazine, Lialda, colazal and others which made me ill. Started 50 mg. Imuran July 2015. Use Bentyl, peppermint oil capsules and Gas-X which all help with various UC symptoms during a flare.

Caregiver for mother with Alzheimer's Disease (for Alz. forum).

Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23547
   Posted 2/2/2016 6:59 AM (GMT -6)   
My Gma's doc was also a geriatric specialist and I felt complete trust in his care for her. That's what they are trained to do, but if you ever feel he isn't doing his job, please take your mother in for a second opinion. But I will cross my fingers for her that this med will help.
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma, Alzheimer's, IBS, Co-moderator-UC
Diagnosed Left sided UC '92 - meds: Apriso, Remicade) Unable to tolerate MOST mesalamines* Currently in Remission, IBS, Diverticuliar Disease, Fibro, Sacroiilitis, Raynauds, OA, PA, Rosacea, Psoriasis, Dry eye syndrome and allergies controlled by Zyrtec

Alice22
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 595
   Posted 2/2/2016 8:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you! That's good advice, too, about getting a second opinion if needed. I will do that.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2005 and rheumatoid arthritis in 1998. On Remicade since 2005 for both diseases. For UC tried sulfasalazine, Lialda, colazal and others which made me ill. Started 50 mg. Imuran July 2015. Use Bentyl, peppermint oil capsules and Gas-X which all help with various UC symptoms during a flare.

Caregiver for mother with Alzheimer's Disease (for Alz. forum).
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