Assessment and Treatment of Pathological Skin Picking

Jedidiah Siev, Hannah E. Reese, Kiara Timpano, Sabine Wilhelm

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Pathological skin picking (PSP) refers to chronic skin picking or scratching that causes tissue damage and distress. It is a heterogeneous category of behaviors and may be manifest in the context of various psychological disorders. This chapter presents an overview of the empirical literature on the assessment and treatment of PSP, including (1) a cognitive-behavioral model as heuristic for conceptualizing treatment, (2) assessment tools, (3) a review of the pharmacological and psychosocial treatment outcome literatures, (4) cognitive-behavioral treatment techniques, and (5) future directions. The chapter is intended to introduce the clinician to the assessment and psychological tools used to treat PSP, as well as to provide impetus to advance research in this understudied domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Impulse Control Disorders
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199940431
ISBN (Print)9780195389715
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Body-focused repetitive behavior
  • Cognitive-behavior therapy
  • Excoriation
  • Habit reversal training
  • Skin picking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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