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Behavioural prescriptions for atopic eczema
Part Two of the patient handbook for The Combined Approach to chronic atopic eczema has a homework task called the behavioural prescription. Having spent a week following awareness training in Part One of the programme, looking at the record of common scratching situations allows the drawing up a personal list of distracting skin-safe behaviours to practice when required.
It is useful to discuss these with someone else, especially if the person is then able to prompt and reinforce their appropriate use.
Keeping hands safely occupied can involve a wide range of activities.
Listed below are some that have proved successful in clinical practice!
For younger children
- For the very young, signing
- Hugging and cuddling
- Play, especially with carers
For adults and older children
- Drawing, painting
- Practicing a musical instrument
- Fidget toys, & bubblewrap popping!
It is important that the appropriate skin-safe behaviours are worked out individually for each person, and then written down in the handbook. Their effectiveness can then be discussed after a few days with someone else, and if necessary adjusted. At the third clinic visit of the recommended programme skin-safe behaviours are especially useful for focused habit reversal.
Key elements in habit reversal