Neurodermatitis or Atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory disease of the skin with chronic and intermittent reactions. Atopic dermatitis is primarily triggered by environmental influences and allergens. Typical symptoms are dry and flaky skin and severe itching.
With neurodermatitis, the skin of the person affected is very sensitive and dry, as well as reddening of the skin. It is particularly susceptible to external stimuli. Itching occurs quickly. Typical areas are usually the crooks of the arms, the hollows of the knees and the neck and face areas.
Besides the hay fever and asthma, one of those Neurodermatitis or atopic dermatitis to the so-called atopic diseases. This leads to an overreaction of the immune system, which develops into an allergy-like disease with the formation of antibodies even under harmless environmental influences.
Pollen and food in particular then trigger known allergens. Other names for neurodermatitis are: Endogenous eczema, Neurodermatitis atopica and Atopic eczema.
The term neurodermatitis is borrowed from the Greek and means something like "skin inflammation caused by nerves". However, the reference to a nervous cause is considered out of date.
As with other allergies, it is the cause of Neurodermatitis an overreaction or defensive reaction of the immune system to various environmental substances. Above all, dust, bee pollen and various foods are considered to be triggers. If these allergens get into the blood, the white blood cells (lymphocytes) try to fight these substances. As a result, the human body produces masses of these antibodies, although the allergens actually do not pose a threat to humans.
Above all, the defense substance immunoglobulin E (IgE) acts with other messenger substances (cytokines) in an inflammatory skin reaction. In addition, white blood cells such as T lymphocytes and the messenger substance histamine promote inflammation in the skin. The process is also considered to be the cause of the severe itching in neurodermatitis.
Other causes of neurodermatitis are: friction and contact with wool, foods such as milk, wheat products and nuts, cold and heat, and infections. Psychological stress and overexertion can also trigger neurodermatitis. In most cases, those affected are particularly at risk from hereditary or genetic predispositions. Parents who already have neurodermatitis are also more likely to have children who will suffer from this condition.
Neurodermatitis mostly occurs on the face, hands or scalp. The symptoms of the disease can be very different, depending on their severity and the age of the patient. It usually occurs in episodes and the symptoms are more pronounced with each episode. They are strongest in infancy and childhood, but sufferers also complain of complaints during puberty.
The relapses can also be triggered by certain external factors, for example poor air quality. Neurodermatitis causes severe itching of the skin. Either only certain parts of the body are affected, or the entire skin is itchy. It is also very red. In infancy, the disease often develops in the arm and knee bends.
It can also occur in the area of the mouth. The spots are scaly, red and partly oozing. In adults, a leather-like thickening of the skin often forms, mostly on the face, but also on other parts of the body. Often the eye and forehead area, the neck and also the bends of the joints are affected.
Sick people often suffer from psychological stress due to neurodermatitis. It may be that they no longer dare to be around people, as they are ashamed of the reddened areas of skin, which is why they withdraw a lot.
The course of the disease Neurodermatitis mostly begins in toddler age. Atopic dermatitis has a recurring and chronic course. Although a 100 percent cure is not possible, the symptoms can be treated cheaply with early diagnosis and intensive therapy. There are various drugs and therapeutic approaches that can be used to lead a reasonably normal life, despite neurodermatitis.
Because of atopic dermatitis, those affected usually suffer from various skin complaints. In most cases this is dry and can be flaky. Redness and itching also occur in this disease and significantly reduce the patient's quality of life. As a rule, atopic dermatitis can also spread to other parts of the body.
It is not uncommon for those affected to feel ashamed of the symptoms and thus suffer from a significantly reduced self-esteem and in some cases from depression or other psychological complaints. Atopic dermatitis can also cause a general feeling of illness or fatigue and make everyday life more difficult. Children may be bullied or teased because of the visible symptoms.
Furthermore, pain often occurs when the affected skin regions are used in everyday life. Neurodermatitis is usually treated without complications with the aid of various care products. Success is achieved relatively quickly and the symptoms disappear in most cases without complications. Life expectancy is also not influenced by neurodermatitis.
Only a doctor can determine whether you have neurodermatitis. People who notice unusual skin changes, itching or scaly eczema around the elbows and squats should seek medical advice. Other symptoms of the skin should also be clarified medically, even if they are only mild. Medical advice must be sought at the latest when the skin changes become more severe or further symptoms arise. The family doctor can diagnose neurodermatitis and, if necessary, consult a dermatologist.
If there is a family history of neurodermatitis or allergic diseases such as hay fever or allergic asthma, there is an increased risk. People with existing skin diseases or hormonal complaints as well as people who are under great stress or suffer from food intolerance also belong to the risk groups and should have the symptoms clarified quickly. The right place to go is your family doctor, a dermatologist or an allergy specialist. In consultation with the doctor, you can also go to a naturopath if you have neurodermatitis.
At the first sign of a Neurodermatitis a doctor should be consulted. Neurodermatitis is not life-threatening, but the accompanying symptoms can turn the life of those affected into torture, so medical therapy is advisable.
So far, the treatment of neurodermatitis has been based on two components. The first therapeutic measure is the basic therapy, which is mainly about a specific treatment or care of the inflamed skin. The care products prescribed by the doctor should be applied extensively to the affected areas of the skin. The main thing here is good lubrication and moisture for the skin.
In addition, there is usually therapy with drugs or medication. These include above all creams, ointments and emulsions for external treatment, as well as infusions and tablets for internal treatment. However, this form should only be used in severe cases of neurodermatitis. The earlier the therapy against neurodermatitis is started, the better and more lasting you can relieve or delay the relapses of the e-disease.
In the rarest of cases, endogenous eczema occurs only once, rather it runs in phases. Therefore, in addition to therapy in the acute phase, follow-up care between attacks is particularly important. Because with the help of adequate skin care, supportive measures and special infant nutrition, the symptoms of the relapses can be alleviated and secondary efflorescence avoided.
According to the current standard, the optimal daily skin care is a moisturizing and neutral cream that is applied thinly several times. Water temperatures below 39 degrees Celsius also protect the lipid barrier and regenerate the damaged skin cells. In addition, clothing and bed linen made of cotton or silk support air circulation and thus prevent heat build-up and maceration.
Most patients also find the rubbing of cotton or silk on the skin pleasant in contrast to wool or polyester. Children in particular should keep their nails short, because when they sleep, many scratch themselves bloody times at the beginning of an attack. Supportive measures such as phototherapy or a low-allergy diet can effectively replace medication such as cortisone.
It is also advisable to create a low-allergen environment and to ensure room temperatures below 22 degrees Celsius. If the occurrence of herpes, chickenpox or MRSA becomes known to friends, patients with neurodermatitis should avoid contact, as vulnerable areas of skin are extremely susceptible to infections. In the case of familial disposition, experts also recommend breastfeeding infants for six months with breast milk and only slowly increasing food allergens and feeding them separately.
Neurodermatitis is an incurable disease. However, the disease subsides in around two thirds of the children affected by the time they are adults. Atopic dermatitis can heal at any age and then stop for a lifetime. In other cases, the condition persists for a lifetime and causes typical complaints that limit the quality of life.
Chronic neurodermatitis affects around 30 percent of patients. Ongoing therapy provides significant symptom relief in most patients. Acute flare-ups can lead to severe irritation of the skin, especially in babies. In addition, repeated scratching of the affected areas leads to wounds and infections. The well-being is therefore considerably restricted, especially with small children. Drug treatment and the associated side effects and interactions is often the only alternative.
Symptoms are just as severe in adults, although the triggers are mostly known and can be effectively avoided. The responsible dermatologist usually makes the prognosis. Since the skin disease can resolve spontaneously, the prognosis is constantly being recreated. For this purpose, the doctor consults the symptoms and the previous course of the disease.
Atopic dermatitis can be very annoying and uncomfortable in everyday life. The affected areas of the skin itch constantly, the clothes itch and if you are sick you have to avoid the swimming pool, lots of sun and sport. In addition, the reddened, scratched and sometimes bleeding skin attracts unpleasant looks from strangers. All of this is a huge burden.
In order not to aggravate the neurodermatitis, there are a few tips that can be observed. In any case, those affected should resist the urge to continue scratching the affected itchy skin. At night, light cotton gloves can be used to avoid scratching while sleeping. Particular care must be taken when choosing care products and clothing.
It is advisable not to use soap, but to clean the body parts only with clear water. Dab while drying, do not rub. The clothing should not be made of synthetic material and should only lie loosely on the skin. It must not scratch and excessive sweating should be avoided. You should also be careful with cleaning agents. These should be as environmentally friendly as possible. Always wear lined rubber gloves when cleaning.
Often the cause of atopic dermatitis lies in the diet. It is therefore advisable to pay attention to a particularly healthy diet and, if necessary, to have an allergy test carried out by a doctor.