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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: I beat myself up in my sleep!!!

 StaceyB. - Mon May 10, 2004 9:51 am

sometimes in the morning i wake up with cuts, scratches, claw marks, etc... I rarely get bruises but, once in a while I do. It doesnt effect my sleeping patterns and im usually not that tired in the morning. I just look like I got in a fight with a cat. I sleep by myself but there are other people in the house. They never wake up so i figure i cant be that loud. It doesnt really bother me because i never hurt myself that bad but i was just curious if there was a name for it or if i should see someone.
 Dr. Russell M - Fri May 28, 2004 12:35 pm

User avatar Hi!

I am not aware of any name in particular for your problem, and don't feel I've read anywhere about this phenomenon to be part of a more serious disease.

 mollard - Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:44 pm

For over 30 yrs, I have been plagued with the periodic appearance of what look like multiple parallel scratches, normally on my calves or forearms. Outbreaks of the condition typically occur three to four times a year, often triggered by physical or emotional stress. The condition presents as multiple parallel linear lesions. These lesions first appear as light red linear sores, which weep fluid and are painful (“sting”). After 4-5 days, the sores close with dark red scabs. The scabs remain for 4-6 weeks, after which time they gradually disappear. If the scabs are disturbed, the underlying skin will bleed profusely and the blood will not readily clot. A tight bandage application is usually required to stop the bleeding. Today, I finally consulted a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic who rather huffily told me there was no known skin condition that presents in this manner. She told me someone had to be scratching me.

Having lived with this condition for so long, I am 100% certain these are NOT scratches. I have examined these lesions under a magnifying lens and they are discontinuous in nature and only seem to involve one or two upper layers of skin. They are actually series of small elliptical tears in the skin, about 0.5-1 mm in diameter which appear along linear tracts.

The stress causal relationship suggests this to be an auto-immune disorder. My father had the same condition and in his case it was diagnosed as psoriasis, although he also had a good deal of traditional "plaque" psoriasis in other areas. My condition responds to cortisones and calcipotriene (Dovonex), which again suggests psoriasis.

This is one for Dr. Gregory House. All you dermatologists out there put on your thinking caps! Any clues as to what this annoying (but probably not life-threatening) condition is would be greatly appreciated!!

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