Pulling your hair or picking at skin can be signs of serious disorders
November 26, 2017
Because people often are unaware of when they pull or pick, some have found that using an app-equipped bracelet called Keen helps control the habit. The bracelets are programmed to detect when the behaviors begin, then send a gentle vibration to alert the individual to stop. The bracelet has not been studied in clinical trials, but anecdotal reports suggest it can be a valuable tool.
Through a study funded by the grant award, HabitAware will evaluate the feasibility of Keen as an official treatment for trichotillomania. Simultaneously, Keen will be further developed into a tool for self-administration of Habit Reversal Training (HRT), one of few verified treatments currently in existence.
You, she reminds, are who’s really in control. And that’s where Keen comes in. When the bracelet vibrates, it’s bringing the picking compulsion from the subconscious into the conscious — giving you the ability to then consciously say to yourself “my hands are not where I want them to be”.
Aneela Idnani hid her stress-induced hair pulling for 20 years. So she founded a company, HabitAware, to create one. Its flagship product: Keen, a sleek, smart bracelet that users program to pick up on repetitive motions, such as hair pulling, skin picking or nail biting.