Neurodermatitis is a condition that starts with an itch, which can be anywhere on the skin surface. The itch causes an urge to scratch, and people often find themselves scratching and rubbing on the affected area. The itch is strongest when one is relaxing or sleeping, and although it comes and goes, the urge to scratch is often there. Stress also aggravates the itch. Neurodermatitis is most common in areas such as the neck, arms, and legs, but it can also develop in the anal and genital areas – scrotum for men and vulva for women. Unlike other itchy skin conditions, Neurodermatitis often causes one or two patches of itchy skin, however, that does not mean one cannot have more than two. Regardless, the incidences of several patches in Neurodermatitis are rare.
What Is The Prognosis Of Neurodermatitis?
Neurodermatitis will rarely go away on its own. Treatment and appropriate measures to preventing itching are required to completely heal the condition. It may take time to find the right treatment that works perfectly for a particular patient, but provided the treatment works, Neurodermatitis will go away eventually. In other words, in terms of healing, the prognosis of Neurodermatitis is favorable, and although it may take time, with the right treatment, you will get healed. Despite that, Neurodermatitis can always return, but only when triggered. Some of the triggers of this condition include; stress, anxiety, and anything – clothes included – that may irritate your skin.
Additionally, Neurodermatitis is not life-threatening and neither is it contagious. But then again, itching can be so intense and recurrent to the extent that it disrupts one’s quality of life. As earlier mentioned, itching is strongest when one is resting or sleeping. In such cases, one may keep on waking up due to the urge to itch and thus end up not getting quality sleep. For Neurodermatitis affecting the genital areas, it interferes with one’s sexual functionality. In general, breaking the itching and scratching cycle can be difficult as the urge sometimes is uncontrollable. Nonetheless, learning how to control or rather resist the urge to itch, and following up on prescribed medication and other useful self-care approaches can eventually help with managing Neurodermatitis.
Possible Causes/Triggering Factors Of Neurodermatitis
There is no known exact cause of Neurodermatitis, however, there are several triggering factors associated with the condition. This skin condition may start off from something such as clothing that irritates the skin thus causing itching. Persistent scratching and rubbing of affected areas cause the itching to increase, and the itch-scratch cycles keep getting worse over time. Some of the triggering factors that can lead to Neurodermatitis include; insect bite, stress, anxiety, and chronic skin conditions such as dry skin, eczema, and psoriasis. Age and gender may also be contributing factors whereby women are most affected by the condition, and people within the age bracket of 30 and 50 years have a higher likelihood of developing Neurodermatitis.
Managing Neurodermatitis requires approaches that help minimize itching and based on the needs of an individual patient. Treatment plans that help in minimizing the itch, hence the urge to scratch and rub on the affected area include; corticosteroid drugs as well as creams, antihistamines, capsaicin or doxepin creams, use of cool compressors, moisturizing the skin, and coal tar preparation. If the aforementioned plans do not seem effective or get to a point where they do not work anymore, other approaches can be considered; for example; Botox injections, a solution containing aspirin and dichloromethane, as well as tacrolimus ointment. For patients with stress and anxiety, anti-anxiety drugs may be helpful in increasing the likelihood of the condition improving alongside the use of basic treatment plans. Underlying infections should also be treated so as to manage the condition better.
Neurodermatitis can be an irritating condition considering the irresistible urge to scratch on the affected skin surface. Despite the intensity of the itch, it is best to learn how to control the urge and reduce scratching as it only worsens the situation. The prognosis of Neurodermatitis is generally good and with the right treatment approaches, the condition can finally be cured. In cases where an underlying condition is identified, it should be treated immediately to improve the healing process of Neurodermatitis.
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