Dermatillomania, also known as excoriation disorder is characterized by the repetitive picking of ones skin despite the harm and damage it causes to the skin. Many people view this as just a bad habit, but for many it extends far beyond that, such that it causes in impairment in daily function. A key factor that separates this condition from other self harming behaviours is that even though it causes harm to the indvidual's body, that is not the intention of the picker. On the contrary, the individual tries to stop but does not succeed. So a question aften asked by those challenged by the condition is, "Whay can't I just stop? What is the secause?"
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There are many different theories about the cause of dermatillomania, and it may be possible that more than holds true as the theories are often supported by research. One such theory is that it is caused by sensory processing disorder (SPD), whereby the person is sensory seeking. In this instance the person may benefit from self-regulating or sensory tools as a more desirable alternative to skin picking. One such tool found to be effective as a competing response are fidget toys. These are self-regulating tools that can calm or enable individuals to focus. There are a variety of different fidget tools easily accessible online.
Fidget toys , as the name suggests, are items you can hold in your hand and fidget with. They come in a various shapes, sizes and colors.The premise behind them us that while fidgeting and the hands are preoccupied you are unable to engage in picking behaviour because you hands are already occupied. In addition the sensory input can have a calming, soothing effect and can also help an individual focus attention. Competing reponses form part of a type of therapy known as Habit Reversal Training (HRT). One of the elements of HRT is to replace undesired behaviors with more acceptable ones.
Stress balls, squigglets and Tangles are the most popular fidget toy. They, too, can vary in sizes and shapes. They can be coated in rubber with some bumps or hair. Other fidget toys that you can use are buckyballs. They work like a stress ball
that you can transform into different cooler shapes. Buckyballs are magnetic. Even if you squeeze them, they’ll still keep their shape. Silly putty is also a good example of a fidget toy. It keeps you entertained for hours so you won’t have to pick your skin. The main objective here is to give you an alternative to picking.
There are many online websites that offer fidget toys for dermatillomania. You can purchase them from Hawkin, Amazon.com, TheraPro.com, Trainers Warehouse, Tangle Creations, and eSpecial Needs, among others.T hese fidget toys are just a temporary tool for the sufferers to help them resist their urge to pick. The more they resist to pick, the weaker that urgency becomes. As a result, the urge to pick becomes less necessary.