TIP of the WEEK: Pick Sites

Living with pick sites is a way of life for many families of children with PWS. We all feel the same dread when we see a new bug bite, rash, or cut because we know what is to come. Once a pick site begins the only way for it to heal is by leaving it alone and keeping it clean. Here are some things to keep in mind when a pick site is open:

Use soap and warm water to gently wash the area. Avoid using peroxide which can cause excessive dryness which could lead to increased scratching.

Avoid all fresh water bodies of water. Fresh water ponds have bacteria that can enter the body through open wounds. However salt water can aid in the healing process.

Be vigilant about short and very clean fingernails. The shorter the nails the harder it is to pick and the less bacteria can gather underneath them.

Use a barrier to lessen the attention on the site. Gloves, complex bandages that are cumbersome to remove (change these twice a day at least for wounds that are actively bleeding) and liquid bandages can be helpful as long as they are approved by your child’s doctor.
For deeper and larger sites connect with your community wound clinic. They will help you address your child’s specific needs and will give you information on how to spot infections.


Patrice Carroll is Latham Centers’ world-renowned Prader-Willi Syndrome specialist. She works with Latham Centers’ residents with PWS, their families, and consultants, continuously learning and teaching about PWS best practices.

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