Neurodermatitis begins with a patch of itchy skin. Once the individual frequently scratches the area, it makes the area even itchier and cycle of chronic itching and scratching can cause the skin to become thick and leathery. Neurodermatitis is also known as lichen simplex chronicus. If you want to learn more about this skin condition, click here.
Symptoms of neurodermatitis
- An itchy skin found in a single limited area and the texture of the skin is leathery and scaly.
- An elevated and rough patch and the color are red or darker than the rest of the skin.
- The itchy patch of skin can be found in the neck, forearm, wrist, thigh and ankle and sometimes it can also affect the vulva and the scrotum. The itchiness is very intense but only comes and goes.
Causes of neurodermatitis
Dermatitis can occur with something that rubs or cause irritation to the skin like tight clothing or a bite from an insect or continuous rubbing or scratching of the area until it becomes itchier. Dermatitis can also be caused by some conditions like dry skin, psoriasis or eczema. Stress and anxiety can also cause the itchiness.
Some factors that can increase the risk of acquiring neurodermatitis include the following:
- Women between the ages 30 to 50 are more susceptible to acquire neurodermatitis.
- Some people suffering from eczema, psoriasis or other skin conditions can have the possibility of developing neurodermatitis.
- Stress and anxiety can start the itch linked with neurodermatitis.
- Persistent scratching can cause bacterial skin infections and some permanent scars or changes in the color of the skin as well as disrupting the sleep pattern of the individual.
Treatment and home remedies
- Over-the-counter medications like anti-itch cream or lotion to be applied to the affected area. Some non-prescription hydrocortisone cream can also relieve the itchiness. Oral antihistamine like Benadryl can be used if there is severe itching.
- Cover the affected areas with bandages or dressing in order to protect the skin and to prevent scratching the skin during sleep.
- Trimmed nails can cause less damage to the skin especially when scratching the skin during nighttime.
- Take a cool bath and sprinkle the water with baking soda or oatmeal.
- Use smooth clothing made of cotton to help avoid skin irritation.
- Use mild soaps not containing perfumes or dyes and be sure to rinse the soap entirely from the body then apply an unscented moisturizer in order to protect the skin.
- Minimize getting stressed since it can trigger the itchiness.
Prevention of neurodermatitis
In order to prevent neurodermatitis, the individual should wash his/her face with a facial cleanser or soap substitute and apply a facial moisturizer that is non-comedogenic. It is also advised to use hypoallergenic make-up and sunscreens.
Avoid using hot water in taking a bath because it can cause drying of the skin. Instead, take a short and warm shower. Once the skin starts to itch, avoid scratching since it can break the skin and bacteria can enter and start an infection.