Neurodermatitis is a skin ailment in which your skin itches at certain patches formed on your body. It is a type of eczema. Neurodermatitis is also known by another name called lichen simplex chronicus. It is a neurological condition of the skin. It is characterized by itch and scratch cycle. This disease appears in patches over the body. The commonly involved body parts are neck, wrists, ankles, hands, scalp, shoulders and feet. In this condition, the skin becomes leather-like and thick. The patient experiences itching and these patches get itchier when he/she scratches this is due to irritation of the nerve endings that are present on the skin.(1)
What To Eat And Avoid When You Have Neurodermatitis?
The exact cure for neurodermatitis does not exist. There are certain medications and topical applicants available that can help reduce the severity of the skin patches. There are some dietary methods that can help you reduce inflammation. There are few food items that can help you to boost your immune system and thus reduce the inflammation over the skin. Such food items are:
Food Items With High Probiotic Properties: Probiotics are substances that have certain helpful bacteria that help you by improving your gut health. Examples of probiotic food items are yogurt. Yogurt will help in improving your immune system by increasing the number of good bacteria in your gut.
Fish: Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help your body to reduce the inflammation. The fishes that contain omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, sardines, herring and albacore tuna. So, if you are looking for an omega-3 fatty acid supplement, then fish is the best option to go with.
Food Products That Contain Flavonoids: Flavonoids are great in helping your body to fight inflammation. Food products that contain flavonoids are spinach, apples, cherries, broccoli, and kale.
You can control the extent and severity of neurodermatitis by avoiding certain food items that tend to increase the inflammation. There is no sure shot list of food items that will increase the inflammation, but the common food items that ought to do it are:
- Citrus fruits like orange, lime
- Dairy products like cheese
- Spices like cloves and cinnamon
In order to know which food item tends to increase the severity of neurodermatitis, the doctor may suggest you try the elimination diet. In this, the doctor will first tell you to avoid all the food items that may have a chance of flaring up the inflammation. Before the elimination process is started, the doctor will ask you to gradually add these food items in your diet. Then the patient is observed for a period of 4 to 6 weeks. This will show if your inflammation is sensitive to any of those food items and then elimination is done. If after elimination, the inflammation reduces, that particular food item is then avoided for you thereafter.(2)
There is no permanent cure for lichen simplex chronicus. The treatment is mainly directed towards controlling the symptoms like itching and scratching.
Injections Of Corticosteroids: In order to help faster healing and symptom relief, the doctor may sometimes use injections of corticosteroids. The corticosteroid is injected directly into the part of the skin that has been affected. This helps in faster healing.
Topical Creams In Order To Relieve Itching: There are many over-the-counter creams that contain corticosteroids that may help. If these corticosteroid creams do not help, then a strong or high power corticosteroid may be given by your doctor. Sometimes, the doctor may also give you some anti-itch creams that do not contain corticosteroids.
Medications That Help In Reducing Itching: In order to reduce itching, the doctor usually gives you anti-histaminic drugs. These drugs reduce the inflammation and thus control itching. The side effect of these drugs is drowsiness.
Medicated Patches: When the itching is very severe and uncontrollable, the doctor may give you patches that contain either capsaicin 8% or lidocaine 5%.
Light Therapy: Sometimes, the doctor may use certain types of light waves and expose the affected area of skin to these light waves that will help in the reduction of inflammation.(3)
There are certain dietary precautions that you can take in order to reduce the inflammation produced in neurodermatitis. There are certain food items that will boost your immune system and help in reducing inflammation like fish, probiotic-containing foods, etc. There are certain food items that will flare up inflammation like tomatoes, citrus fruits, etc. you need to know what food item will cause a flare-up with the help of your doctor with an elimination diet method.
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- How To Diagnose Neurodermatitis & What Is The Best Medicine For It?