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Help! 15mo won't keep hands out of nappy & is left bleeding!

(18 Posts)
rachelinscotland Tue 08-Jul-08 21:41:37

I've tried searching back on Mumsnet for threads regarding little ones who keep their hands in their nappies etc and it seems that no one actually has a real problem - i.e. the child actually harming themself!

Well, my lovely 15.5mo son is different! Don't know if he's really strong or what, but within minutes of grabbing himself down below, he's left with several cuts/scrapes in his skin and is bleeding! So, when he comes out of the bath (where it's very difficult to control his hands and he thinks baths are just for grabbing!) we get a very bloody towel! Nappy changes often require me calling my husband to hold his hands & distract him just so I can get him cleaned or another nappy on him! I clip his nails frequently and repeatedly tell him to be gentle, but seems nothing gets through! He just seems to be getting worse in that regard (not being gentle - I think his pain tolerance level is very high!). It's mainly his scrotum and the creases of his legs/crotch that end up the most damaged.

Anyone else had a child do this - actually hurting himself, rather than just that they couldn't leave themselves alone? Any advice would be much appreciated - thanks!

TheRealPhartiphukborlz Tue 08-Jul-08 21:42:52

is he scratching?
has he dry skin?

MegBusset Tue 08-Jul-08 21:43:42

DS is just like this, I can't see what enjoyment he gets out of it hmm but he won't leave it alone and has drawn blood on occasion. I change nappies with a leg over his tummy so he can't get to his bits. As for the bath, I just do them as quickly as possible and try to distract him with toys!

MegBusset Tue 08-Jul-08 21:44:16

Also DS has eczema so is very itchy generally.

umberella Tue 08-Jul-08 21:44:44

poor little ds! have you been to the docs? does it seem like his skin there might be irritated?

Bertolli Tue 08-Jul-08 21:46:14

How long has this been going on for?

Does he also itch his bottom? (you probably know where i'm going with this one?!)

PhDlifeNeedsaNewLife Tue 08-Jul-08 21:46:25

Mine has drawn blood occasionally. I keep his nails very short and apply lots of savlon, we tell him to be gentle too but it doesn't register!

rachelinscotland Tue 08-Jul-08 21:59:40

oooh, quick replies! Thanks!

He can get dry itchy skin at times and in places, but he's never looked that dry or itchy in his nappy area - skin always looked quite good really (until he attacks it! lol). He's in cloth nappies btw.

He's been doing it for a good 6 months at least - gradually getting worse - ie. can't leave himself alone for a second if he gets a chance. No, doesn't seem to itch his bottom at all. When he was about 6-8 months old he did lots of scratching under his neck (got hot/sweaty/wet with dribble from teething etc) and really had his neck very irritated, red and sore. It would nearly clear up and then he'd have a bored/tired moment where he's attack it again. Perhaps though he finally left his neck alone about the time he started on his private parts! Recently he's started scratching the top of his foot/ankle and it looks rather sad indeed - almost wondered if it could be some sort of skin condition he had that was making him itch. But it's hard to tell if the scratching starts first and then it looks sad! He also had cradle cap for months, and only in the past month or so did the final drop (which had been sitting there for 4 months prob!) actually fall off! So, yes, perhaps he does have a bit of irritable skin, or just a scratching habit. Though he doesn't always look like he's itching when he grabs down below, but I could be wrong. I haven't taken him to any health visitor/gp about this yet (tho did about the neck before) - seems I don't really get anywhere with either - often get better/practical advice from places like Mumsnet!

PhDlifeNeedsaNewLife Tue 08-Jul-08 22:11:49

I don't think my ds is scratching, I've always reckoned he's trying to rip his bits off so he can get a look at 'em!

Seriously though he has had pre-eczema'y dry patches - skin on his back is 'bumbly' and sometimes red peeling patches in fat thigh creases - we've got him bathing in Diprobath (get a scrip) and slather him in Epaderm every night, which seems to keep it under control.

Maybe the Diprobath might help your ds's skin too? Mine doesn't scratch, but in otherwise he does sound like yours, with the cradle cap (like a helmet!) and the irrits under his chin-fat.

TattooedGrrrl Wed 09-Jul-08 12:23:20

Hey there- my DS did this from 6mths to about 4mths ago (he's 2yr now) We worked out it was a dairy intolerance- he would claw himself until he bled because it itched, then keep clawing the wounds. We had to dress him in clothes he couldn't get his fingers through, it took 2 of us to bath him, nappy changes were a nightmare. It was a very, very stressful time.

I found that a liquid anti hystamine medicine helped, as did taking dairy from his diet for a while. He's over it now.

KirstyandDarcy Wed 09-Jul-08 13:41:00

Hi there - sounds just like my DS - took him to the GP in the end as he was making it so sore! Doc said it was thrush and gave canestan with some HC in. It did clear it up but it does come back and he goes at it again

conkertree Wed 09-Jul-08 15:51:20

my ds is the same (11 months). he has quite bad eczema and been to a dermatologist. She was quite interesting and showed me how he's got into the habit of itching without necessarily having to.

The times he doesnt need to, he can be distracted by a toy etc. If he can't, he's really itchy. We used to do a kick time for him - time without a nappy in the evening, but had to stop because of how he attacked himself - same things as yours with blood. We got hydrocortisone for various bits including his nappy area, and it made a huge difference.

Now he almost always just plays with himself when his nappy's off, and if he pulls hard, I know he's really itchy and put cream on that night.

we also got canesten like kirsty for when his skin really flares up.

you can get hydrocortisone 1% from the pharmacist over the counter depending how you feel about trying things without the GP/health visitor giving you advice.

sorry for long post.

mindfulmama Wed 09-Jul-08 17:32:15

I would definitely think a chat with your health visitor or Doc wd be good. It is worth checking out reasons why he is scratching... maybe your washing powder/liquid is irritating him,even if you can't see it or he needs more frequent changes, little boys urine is quite strong!!!( Thus spake Mo of 3 boys who all had cloth nappies ... we had to use only the simplest wash stuff and ended up using those magic maraca ball thingys) Is he generally a sensory boy? does he get easily bothered by labels and textures?

rachelinscotland Wed 09-Jul-08 21:27:44

Thanks for the further replies - certainly giving me some ideas and making me think! Perhaps he is indeed feeling itchy, judging by the force that he uses. Occasionally in the bath it seems he's trying to have a good look and see what's down below etc, but then he goes to ripping again.

As for frequent nappy changes - probably no one changes them as frequently as I do! LOL I have a very full load of nappies to wash every day with my 2 little ones! I frequently change after just one wee (if I know it's wet). But yes, I probably change him about 9 times a day, I'd think. But as for washing powder...I'm just trying to jog my brain to remember if it's possible he starting the grabbing a lot when I went over to Surf bio powder. I'd been using non-bio powder from the beginning with cloth nappies & clothes. But then I starting getting some kind of build up/bacteria in the nappies and my 2yo daughter was getting very red and unusual rash in her nappy area. Just as soon as I started using Surf powder, it all went away and she's not had a single rash since - just the occasional redness after doing a poo and perhaps being in it for 5 minutes before getting changed. So I'd felt that no nappy rashes was a good sign and keep using Surf. But perhaps he's feeling itchy with it. I have noticed recently that he's rocking himself on all fours, with nappy rubbing the carpet - quite often when he's got a wet nappy too, or just feeling tired - so maybe he is feeling itchy. Just wonder where to start in eliminating any problems! Obviously the washing powder has done my daughter good - so hmmm! hmm It's all too complicated! lol

mindfulmama Thu 10-Jul-08 16:12:35

Bless you !!I remember those days of three babies in nappies and it wasn't the bus but the washing machine that went round and round!!! There used to be something you could add to the soak to stop the bacteria build up but that wasn't itchy, I think it was thru green people or PHP (who sold the kooshies nappies) I used to get it, but that was yrs ago. I am sorry not to remember what it was but probably nowadays there are more options if you try eco websites. I suspect that Surf is the problem for your son, my ds skin still can't tolerate it and they are 10 and 11 now!

Helium Sun 13-Jul-08 21:36:36

Yes my son had this when he was about 18 months old-for a good 2 or 3 months. It was horrible - took him to drs and they gave me Fucidin H - an antibiotic cream. It worked well although took some time. It was a worry - as it seemed to bleed a lot and he was very itchy and sore - but fine now!!

Lusi Mon 14-Jul-08 01:36:23

Ohhh -sounds really nasty...I only have girls but thought of two things that might help if it is a skin problem.
Don't bath too often. DD1 had terribly dry itchy skin - I used oilatum and Aveeno/diprobase every day. Her skin improved miraculously at 18 months -when I stopped bathing her every day..she and DD2 only get 2-3 baths a week...and their skin is great. Only problem DD1 has had since was when staying with Granny...who was using Fairy non-bio ...
So ditch the Surf! DD2 had a terrible odd nappy rash that took months to clear. It started after a spate of minor illnesses. I switched to disposables for a while and it made no difference. She eventually had a swab done and was diagnosed with a bacterial infection and after a course of antibiotics it cleared up..but the GP said that it was likely it would have cleared anyway when her immune system had recovered. So your daughter may just have managed to cure herself - if it happens again get your GP to do a swab (Before the swab two other GPs had given her canesten and aciclovir -both which more than likely made the problem worse!)
If you are worried about bacterial build up ...rinse them before washing (in the machine). Use nappy soak (loads out there...you can get PHP from mothercare and some tescos..or tea tree oil or vinegar etc etc) or boil wash once a week or if they are flat, iron them (only takes a few secs per nappy)...all will kill any lingering bugs...
BTW DD2 is a terrible ear scratcher when she is tired or stroppy (she also pulls her hair out..) ...I try and keep her nails 'cut to the quick' and then filed down even further...cruel(?) but effective...otherwise those (useless) scratch mits at nappy change/bath time? At least you might have had time to do the nappy change before he gets them off..

rachelinscotland Mon 14-Jul-08 19:35:18

Lusi: thanks for all the tips! Actually I only bath my children twice a week anyway! They've only occasionally in their life had more frequent baths - like when they had chickenpox, or if they get really messy outside etc. Once I remember I did start giving him a nightly bath for about a week (I think it's when his neck was really upset & I thought extra washings might help relax him and calm skin down). But if I remember correctly, I think his skin got too dry - so that only lasted about a week.

I have a huge dispenser of Diprobase that I got on prescrip when he had the neck irritation - maybe it's worth trying that on some of the creases of his legs in his nappy area?

As for things over hands - I actually put socks on him a few times for a bath since it meant his nails couldn't dig into his skin. However he soon realised that they were excellent for splashing and we got a verrry wet bathroom floor, mummy & walls! LOL So I'm not really very keen to do socks/mits again!

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