Common Presentations of Self-Injurious Behavior and the Medical Conditions to Consider If New Onset

Type of Self-InjuryPotential Associated ConditionsPotential Associated Injury
Head bangingHeadache, toothache, sinus infection, ear infectionDetached retina, abrasions, contusions
Head hitting or slappingHeadache, toothache, sinus infection, ear infectionFracture of bones in hand, detached retina, abrasions, contusions
Eye pokingVision loss, eye painEye abrasion
Gum or tooth digging or bangingDental pain, gingivitisGum injury, tooth autoextraction, tooth fracture
Scratching and skin pickingAllergy, eczema, drug reaction, skin infection or infestation (eg, fleas, scabies)Infection, scarring
Finger and toenail biting or pickingPainInfection, nail removal, ingrown nails, paronychia
Kicking or stompingRestless leg syndrome, leg painBruises, fractures
RuminationGastroesophageal reflux, eosinophilic esophagitisEsophageal ulceration and bleeding, dental damage, nutritional compromise, precancerous lesions of esophagus