My four year old daughter is obsessed with the yucky habit of picking scabs off small cuts/spots. Her arms and legs feature unsightly often bleeding wounds. I am worried that the scars won't ever disappear as they never get a chance to heal. Have threatened and cajoled to no effect. We are starting a new system whereby at the end of each day if there is evidence of picking she loses a star, and there isn't, she gets a star. Am trying to discourage her without making a big deal about it.
My husband thinks this s fairly normal behaviour but I just wonder if it's a sign of underlying stress. I'm from a large family and none of us picked at scabs. It seems to me it's a form of self harm although I could be just be being neurotic...
DD1 did this for a time at about 2.5. It was often scabs on her face that she was picking at, so we have some lovely photos of her!
Tried nagging her, explaining the healing process, covering them with plasters, spraying them with clear plasters (that stings BTW). Nothing seemed to work and she just stopped after about 2-3 months when we'd given up.
Ignoring it might be the best bet, but I think it's quite normal.