As already mentioned, every affected person “tics” differently. What is helpful for one person may not be helpful for another. Below, we have compiled a list of a few products that affected people in Facebook groups have reviewed as positive and helpful. These are products that our scientific advisors do not believe to be untrustworthy per se. If you disagree, please feel free to reach out to us. We are also open to reviewing other products.
This product contains 18 items that satisfy auditory, tactile, visual, and kinesthetic sensory needs while engaging the hands. A sheet giving tips and suggestions for the best use of each item is included in the pack.
This putty is available in various degrees of hardness and can be used to keep your hands busy and reduce stress or tension. The putty can be stretched and sculpted, and it can be shaped into a ball and bounced, much like a bouncy ball. It is also easy to take with you and can be used anywhere at any time.
Calm Strips look like ordinary stickers, but their textured surface feels like soft sand when touched with the fingers. According to the company, sensory stimulation of the fingers is distracting and stress-relieving, helping to alleviate the onset of symptoms.
Jewelry like beaded bracelets or necklaces with beads have a lot of texture and are very tactile. The beads can be easily moved back and forth on the elastic bracelets, so they serve to keep the hands busy as well as provide sensory stimulation. Zipper bracelets can also be helpful.
According to affected individuals, brushes can be useful as sensory tools to refrain from skin picking. Other types of brushes or combs can be used as well (e.g., hairbrushes, toothbrushes, nail brushes, massage brushes, paint brushes). The brushes can also be used to massage the scalp.
You can wear gloves at home during the day or while sleeping to cover your fingers completely. This can prevent you from picking your skin as well as chewing your nails. Cotton gloves are especially comfortable because they are very soft and your hands will not sweat in them.
This free app can be used to enter and monitor the number of days that have passed since one’s last skin picking, hair pulling, or nail biting. The timer can act as a motivating factor to resist the urge to pick, pull, or bite.
The Keen wristband from Habitaware monitors the movement of the hands. It vibrates if symptoms occur unconsciously or consciously. The wristband can also be connected to an app that can accurately record your own movement patterns. An initial small-scale study demonstrates its effectiveness against a control group.
This bracelet is programmed to vibrate when you bring your hand to your face or hair, for example. This increases your awareness of subconscious touching and is intended to train the brain to break the habit cycle. The bracelet acts as ‘willpower on the wrist’ and can help direct your focus to alternative movements just before you perform a body-focused repetitive behavior. Over 1,000 different hand gestures can be recognized.
If a particular behavior is performed mainly in one room, such as the bathroom, you can put a timer on the light switches in that room so that after 5 minutes the light goes off and the behavior is interrupted.
Set a smartphone timer for your morning and evening routines in the bathroom. If you are tempted to pick your skin in front of the mirror, you will be interrupted when the timer rings.
Cover your mirror or view only from a distance
Cover the mirror with a towel so that you have to intentionally remove it to use the mirror. This extra step can remind you of your goals and help prevent you from skin picking. Distance from the mirror can also play a role. The closer you are to the mirror, the more details you can see and the more likely you are to find a perceived blemish that can cause you to pick your skin. It can be helpful to stand at least an arm’s length away from the mirror.
This club’s weekly sessions last approximately 50 minutes and are held via Zoom. Children aged 6–11 can participate, and each group usually has a maximum of five children. Each series lasts 6 weeks. Each week a new story is read aloud, during which the children can fold different origami. Origami is a great way to keep the hands busy, and it is accessible, affordable, and can be shared with others!
In forums, many people affected by trichotillomania have reviewed the following products as helpful.
TOPPIK consists of colorized hair-building fibers made of keratin that blend inconspicuously with your own hair. The product can be easily applied to the affected areas to give the hair more fullness and volume.
Scalp massagers have a relaxing effect and thus result in stress reduction. Stimulating the hair creates a somewhat similar sensory experience to pulling out hair and is therefore said to reduce the urge to pull hair.
Affected individuals report that head coverings such as hair bands can reduce the compulsion to grab or pull out one’s hair. Many experts, however, consider this measure to be a form of avoidance; it should therefore be used as a last resort.
Trich-Stop is a private online therapy program by trained therapists for individuals suffering from trichotillomania. It is an evidence-based form of therapy (cognitive behavioral therapy) that has been shown to be effective in the treatment of body-related impulse control disorders. The contact with the therapists takes place via text messages and is therefore location-independent.
This app can increase your awareness of your behaviors. The app allows you to document the times when you feel an urge to pull your hair, and times when you do pull your hair can be noted as well. A clear presentation of the collected data in the form of graphs and charts makes it easy for you to recognize your typical patterns.
Many individuals affected by skin picking have reviewed the following products in forums as helpful.
There is a private online therapy program for those picking their skin. It is an evidence-based form of therapy (cognitive behavioral therapy) that has been shown to be suitable in the treatment of body-related impulse control disorders. Contact with the therapists takes place via text messages and is therefore location-independent.
StopPicking.com is an online behavioral program designed to help individuals reduce unwanted skin picking, nail biting, and lip-cheek biting. The program is designed to help individuals identify situations associated with their picking or biting behaviors. It also recommends strategies that might help change the behaviors. It is not considered therapy in a strict sense and is not intended to replace individual behavioral therapy.
This lava stone is close to the real picking experience according to people affected by BFRBs. The holes or “pores” of the stone are pre-filled with a latex-based substance that can be pulled or peeled out of the stone.
The Pick Palette™ Pack is a calming way to satisfy your urge to pick, peel and dig at things. It also helps with fighting boredom and to calm you. This gadget has over one hundred holes on the one side and dots, solids and stripes on the other side, which can be filled with latex-free filler to pick out. The bundle comes with a picking palette, latex-free filler, a picking stick and a cloth bag.
Many nail biters have stated in forums that the following products are helpful.
This nail polish contains a completely harmless bitter substance, which makes nail biting hardly tolerable by the taste. Nails and cuticles thus get the opportunity to heal and grow. The effectiveness of bitter substances has been proven many times.
Instead of biting your nails, you can chew sesame seeds. Eating or cracking sunflower or pumpkin seeds can also help to stimulate the mouth and fingers.
These products/tips could be helpful for individuals who crack their joints.
Similar to fidget toys, rollerball or ballpoint pens may be useful for reducing symptoms. The engagement and disengagement of the retractible pen/cap provides a sensory experience similar to joint cracking and reduces the urge to crack the joints in many sufferers. Staplers have also shown positive effects.
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