Intended for healthcare professionals

Habit reversal and atopic skin disease

The central thesis of this article is that repeated surface trauma to the skin is the single most significant amplifying factor in atopic skin disease (ASD). Whatever the initiating immunopathological or allergic trigger event for itching in eczema, it is the 100–1,000 daily scratching events that can change acute eczema into a miserable chronic condition. If such predominantly habitual scratching can be significantly reduced, the skin will heal. What was a gloomy negative illness can become something treatable, simply by achieving a change in the patient’s behaviour.
Dermatology in practice 2002; 10(2): 28–30
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