Habit Reversal Tip #24 Habit reversal, scratching and the smartphone

author/source: DrB

                                       Smart Phone

Habit reversal for habitual scratching is part of The Combined Approach treatment programme for chronic atopic eczema. It requires regular practice of skin-safe competing responses to all stimuli to scratch - whether or not itch is involved!

First, there is the simple fists, and pinch or press response:


Then there are the responses for particular circumstances. These habit reversal tactics generally involve…

  • planning ahead,
  • doing things quickly, and
  • keeping the hands busy…

New skin-safe behaviours can be suggested by others, or invented for oneself. To increase their effectiveness, be clear when they are needed, discuss them with others, and write them down.

There are large number of possibilities. The smartphone is a handy source of several, including ...

  • Texting: Now one of the most popular uses of any mobile - smart or otherwise. Sending texts is a great skin-safe behaviour. Worth sending off some messages in those danger times. Let your the skin heal!
  • Social networking: Checking out your favourite interactive sites can keep your digits safely occupied and where you can see them. And you can share your success with others!
  • Gaming: On your own, and with others, playing games using a mobile can be great fun - and habit reversal success comes with keeping going with both hands safely occupied. A very friendly behaviour for the skin!

Take care however - some smartphone functions can be scratchogenic!

      For example ....

  • Calling: Many report that talking on any phone, smart or otherwise, is a danger-time for habitual scratching. Fortunately now using a smartphone to speak with others seems much less common than it used to be!
  • Listening: Listening to music and the radio on a smartphone is popular, but leaves the hands free for scratching! Keep your hands where you can see them!
  • Reading & Watching: On a smartphone, reading a book - and emails, and texts - or watching a video are fine skin-wise, as long as you hold on with both hands!


And NB....


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