MarcieMom (@MarcieMom) met Dr Christopher Bridgett (@ckbridgett) through Twitter – and learnt that he had a special interest of using behavioural interventions to help people with atopic eczema. DrB trained in medicine at Corpus Christi College, Oxford and St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, then as a psychiatrist in Oxford. He now works in private practice in London. He has co-authored several publications on The Combined Approach, that proposes using habit reversal to stop habitual scratching in atopic eczema. To find out more about behavioural dermatology, click http://www.atopicskindisease.com/articles/PeterNoren to read DrB’s interview with Peter Norén MD, the Swedish dermatologist who created The Combined Approach.
Marcie Mom: Good morning, Dr B. Some parents have feedback that they feel guilty that they have either passed on the ‘bad gene’ or haven’t noticed their child scratching. What advice would you give to parents to cope with the guilt, which of course, isn’t justified!
Dr B: Both awareness of genetic inheritance, and coping with a child’s scratching are common human experiences and, as “facts of life”, need keeping in proportion. Some of us are more prone to self-blame than others. I think self-blame regarding genetic predisposition is quite unjustified. Failing to supervise a child’s scratching behaviour may be something to review. Sharing experiences in real time with others, and over the internet should be really helpful: great that you have this site!
Marcie Mom: Thanks Dr B for your encouragement. Scratching feels good but is bad for the child. What advice would you give parents to keep their child from scratching?
Dr B: Follow The Combined Approach to atopic eczema …. use habit reversal behaviour modification to treat habitual scratching, together with optimal conventional treatment. To rescue a young child from chronic eczema please refer to Chapter 5 of our book “Atopic Skin Disease” – available to consult at www.atopicskindisease.com. DrB