Itching and ADHD?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Kathrine, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. Kathrine

    Kathrine New Member

    Hi again folks--well, it's time to ask my annual question.

    Is there a connection between unexplained itchiness and ADHD? My son likes to scratch all over for several minutes whenever he's presented with a task he doesn't particularly want to do (like practicing a difficult piano piece.) His skin is perfectly clear and he's not on any medication. I tried putting Gold Bond itching powder all over him to try to clear away what I think is a psychosomatic symptom, but that did not work either. I'm tired of sitting there waiting for him to finish scratching when I'm trying to get something done with him. I think he truly does feel itchy--psychosomatic does not mean it's not real. But I need to figure out how to get him to forget about scratching.


    PS. I haven't updated my signature in a while so I don't know what it'll say when I post this. My son has ADHD and is 9 years old now. He is not on any ADHD medication.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Does he maybe have allergies or get overheated? I have very fair skin and in the summer I do itch when I get hot. It doesn't show. I never heard of a connection to ADHD and itching. But, then, I don't know everything. ;)
  3. Kathrine

    Kathrine New Member

    I don't think he has any allergies, and this goes on in the winter too. So I don't think it's the heat. And he's never itchy when he's playing or watching TV--just when I'm trying to get him to do some unpleasant work.
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Jett has some serious itch issues and we haven't been able to figure out why. They are never apparent when he is absorbed in something. I think it may be a mild version of Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) in a way but I don't know.

    Any possibility on this? We know now that Jett isn't strictly ADHD. Working on that with the neuropsychologist...
  5. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    My difficult child is ADHD also and while I haven't noticed excessive itching, he HAS to be doing SOMETHING all of the time. As with yours though, it's only when he's not absorbed in actually doing something. He watches TV, his feet are moving (which I see out of the corner of my eye and it drives me up a wall), he's folding/shredding/fiddling with a piece of paper, chewing on his finger.....something. It isn't physically possible for that boy to sit still. When he was younger, he would pick also but I think that was more of an anxiety thing. When we first got him, his earlobes were a mess. He would pick at them till a scab formed and then pick at the scab. It wouldn't heal as it was a continuous thing. He also did it somewhat on his head but some stability, frequent reminders to stop and some aloe gel took care of it after awhile.

    Does your difficult child realize he's doing it? It may be a Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) thing or it just could be how his "fidgeting" manifests itself. Maybe he could carry a stress ball with him and mess with that instead of scratching if it's only a movement issue. I have to wonder though if the scratching isn't a way for him to calm himself and prepare for switching tasks.
  6. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Yes, my son would do this when stressed about a new academic task.
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Skin picking is one presentation of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which is a form of anxiety. I wonder if itching would fall under the same category. Perhaps giving him stress balls or something else to keep his hands occupied when he is presented with a difficult task might keep his hands from scratching himself. I think distraction is key here.
  8. Babbs

    Babbs New Member

    My difficult child scrubs his head with his fingers when he has to pay close attention or focus on something. His hair will be perfectly groomed before school and on the way out the door you can ask him a question and his hand will go up and "boom" his hair will be twisted every which way. When his hair gets about 3-4 inches long it's in constant knots from his head scrubbing. I think of it more as a motor overflow during concentration - kind of like when you bite your lip or move your tongue as you try something difficult.
  9. ashleyannlay

    ashleyannlay New Member

    My 11 year old son is doing the same thing; complaining of itching and I can not find any thing on him to make him itch. His school has called twice this week and once last week with him itching. And he is scratching so bad that he has his skin irritated and read. I took him to the doctor and they gave him medicine to ease the itching but he is only supposed to take it for three days. I just received a phone call from the school not five minutes ago for the same thing except now he has little bumps on his face. I don't know what to do anymore!

    Thank you,
  10. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    My 10 yr old son does the SAME thing! He's constantly complaining that he itches and has "bites". When I check there is absolutely nothing on him. I've tried creams, lotions, etc. Not sure if it's an attention thing but it's driving us crazy!
  11. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Welcome to the board Ashley. You might want to start your own thread. Some will look at the date on the first post and not realize you've posted.

    And my difficult child 1 has had tactile hallucinations where he feels something that is not there. Probably not the same thing yours is going through. Could it be an allergy? Food or otherwise?
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sounds like anxiety or stress reaction to me. I've never had those symptoms with any of the three ADHDers that I've raised. on the other hand, one of them did have an outbreak of hives from nerves years ago. I did have allergy testing done and the results did not lead to anything of importance in our case. Have you asked him about it? Does he "feel it coming on?" or recognize a pattern himself? Maybe he has the answer. Good luck. DDD