Neurodermatitis is a condition of the skin that begins with an itchy area of skin. Scratching this area makes the condition worse by making it even itchier. The itch-scratch cycle makes the affected skin thick and leathery. The itchy spots usually develop in the neck, forearm, wrist, ankle and the thigh.
Neurodermatitis is not a contagious condition and the itchiness can be severe or persistent that can cause disruption of sleep and affects the daily activities of the individual.
- Leather-like or rough texture of the affected areas
- Itchy patches of skin
- An elevated coarse patch or patches that appear reddened or darker than the color of the skin
- It can spread to areas of the body that can be reached by scratching such as the neck, head, wrist, ankle, forearm, vulva, anus or the scrotum.
- Itchiness can be severe or just comes and goes or can be continuous.
If the itchiness prevents the person from sleeping or incapable of focusing on the daily routines and the affected skin becomes painful and appears infected, seek medical help immediately.
- Neurodermatitis can be caused by insect bites
- Wearing tight or rough clothing that rubs against the skin and cause irritation and itchiness of the skin.
- Stress and anxiety
- Dry skin from eczema or psoriasis.
- Women are more susceptible for developing the condition than men, especially at ages between 30-50 years old.
- The itchiness can be severe but it is vital to avoid rubbing and scratching the affected area to prevent making the condition worse.
- Take the prescribed medications such as corticosteroid or antihistamines to minimize the itchiness of the area.
- Apply a cool and moist compress on the affected area to help relax the skin and lessen the itching. Apply the compress on the area for a few minutes before applying the medicated cream.
- Perform relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation since these can provide a soothing effect on the body and helps lessen the itchiness.
- Take the prescribed over-the-counter anti-itch cream or lotion to help minimize severe itchiness. Hydrocortisone cream can be used to lessen the itchiness and oral antihistamines which lessens the itching and allows the individual to sleep.
- Cover the affected area using bandages or dressing to help protect the skin from scratching during sleeping.
- Take warm baths and moisturize the skin. In a bath tub filled with warm water, sprinkle it with some uncooked oatmeal, baking soda or colloidal oatmeal. Make sure to mix them well and then soak the body in the mixture. It is recommended to utilize mild soaps that do not contain any dyes or perfumes. After the bath, apply an unscented moisturizer to protect the skin.
- Keep the nails short to help lessen the damage on the skin, especially when scratching the skin during sleep.