Rather than simply having an intention in mind, it may be helpful to give yourself a reason not to pick, bite, or scratch. For example, paint your nails or apply acrylics, cover arms with tight full sleeves, or wear gloves to reduce damage. According to board-certified dermatologist and psychiatrist Dr. Amy Wechsler, “If something is covered, then it’s hard to access, and when you try to get to them but can’t, that’s enough time for you to think, Oh, I shouldn’t be doing this,” she explained to MindBodyGreen, listing a few examples herself. “Sometimes my patients will be walking around with lots of Band-Aids, but it’s the only way to heal things.”
With an incentive that can act as a physical barrier, you’ll be stopped in your tracks repeatedly. Although unlearning habits takes time, so does learning them — both are a result of repeated action. If a manicure or other luxury treatment is in your budget, it may incentivize you to take better care of your skin (while looking super glam).