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What treatment options are available for BFRBs?

Research into treatments for BFRBs, particularly hair pulling disorder and skin picking disorder, has grown steadily over the past decade. Although no one treatment has been found to be effective for everyone, a number of evidence-based treatment options have shown promise for many people.


A psychotherapy approach called Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is the treatment of choice for BFRBs. Existing studies suggest that CBT is superior to medication in treatment outcomes. However, some individuals may need medication first or in conjunction with CBT. CBT is a therapeutic approach that focuses on identifying thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are problematic and teaches individuals how to change these elements to lead to reduced stress and more productive functioning. An emphasis is placed on matching the treatment to the unique symptoms of the individual.

There are a number of different treatment approaches for BFRBs that fall under the umbrella of CBT: Habit Reversal Training (HRT) and Comprehensive Behavioral treatment (ComB). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) are two treatment approaches that may bolster the effectiveness of other cognitive behavior therapies.