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Treatment Recommendations for Excoriation (Skin-Picking) Disorder

Matthew D. Jacofsky, Psy.D., Melanie T. Santos, Psy.D., Sony Khemlani-Patel, Ph.D. & Fugen Neziroglu, Ph.D. of the Bio Behavioral Institute, edited by C. E. Zupanick, Psy.D.

Treatment for skin-picking is the same as for other body-focused, repetitive behaviors such as trichotillomania (hair pulling). A combination of traditional cognitive therapy, behavioral exposure and response prevention, and habit reversal training is the standard treatment for this disorder. These therapeutic approaches were described in the recommended treatments for trichotillomania section.  It is crucial to tailor treatment to each individual, and to incorporate other cognitive-behavioral strategies as the combination has been shown to be more clinically effective than HRT alone.

It is also helpful to strengthen the social support system (e.g., family) to provide feedback and encouragement. As such, family therapy can be particularly beneficial in the treatment of excoriation (skin-picking) disorder.

 




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