Is my daughter’s skin-picking a sign of a more serious problem?
Ask the Expert: She found lockdown difficult and it seemed to knock her confidence
“The teacher took her aside and asked was everything okay and whether she was self-harming.” Photograph: iStock
Question: My 14-year-old girl is a relatively self-confident, bright and emotionally intelligent teenager, but she has tended for some years to pick a bit at her skin when anxious. This sometimes leaves noticeable cuts around her thumbnails and on hands and legs. At times she picks obsessively at spots also.
She has had a lot going on recently. She found lockdown and being off school for six months difficult and it seemed to knock her confidence. Since being back in school she has had a falling-out with a friend and struggled a bit finding her social group. Also, a teacher noticed her fingers as she handed up work this week. I noticed them myself. She has picked the skin all around her thumbs.