Home Remedies For Neurodermatitis

Neurodermatitis or lichen simplex chronicus is a skin condition initiated by itching, which results in focal scaly, thick and leathery patches of skin. Neurodermatitis is not a life-threatening condition, nor is it a contagious disease; however, the recurrent and intense nature of itching may disrupt the sexual life, sleep cycle and overall quality of life of a person. Since rubbing and scratching the concerned area provides relief to itching sensation, it is very difficult to curb this habit. The only possible way to stop the habit is to identify various triggering factors and avoid possible exposure to those. The most commonly affected sites that are affected by neurodermatitis involve scalp, neck, wrists, shoulders, ankles, feet, thighs and back of hands.(1)

Home Remedies For Neurodermatitis

Home Remedies For Neurodermatitis

Neurodermatitis is generally managed with topical corticosteroid medications that help reduce the itch and inflammation. The steroid can also be used as an intralesional injection. Other medications that can be used in the management of neurodermatitis include antihistamines, tacrolimus, and antianxiety drugs. Light therapy and psychotherapy can also be utilized for the management and prevention of neurodermatitis.(2)

Apart from conventional therapy, certain home remedies have been useful for the management of neurodermatitis. The first and foremost is to avoid and stop the urge of rubbing and scratching to prevent recurrence of the lesion. If the pruritus recurs, then one can apply cool and wet compress in the affected area to soothe the skin and relieve the itch. Over-the-counter medication containing hydrocortisone or antihistamine can be used for symptom management or a moisturizer can be used to prevent the area from drying. Bathing with colloidal oatmeal has been found helpful in minimizing the itch. It is also important to keep the nails short and trim to avoid any undue damage and excoriations from scratching. Any allergens or triggers (such as tight clothing, stress) should be avoided to prevent recurrence of neurodermatitis. If it is impossible to control the urge to scratch, then the affected area can be covered with dressings or bandage to create a barrier and protect the area from being scratched unconsciously.(2)

Additionally, there have been various alternate herbal remedies described in Ayurveda for the management of neurodermatitis. According to Ayurveda neurodermatitis is a result of poor lifestyle and dietary habits in which there is an aggravation of pitta dosha that leads to building up of toxins, ‘ama’, in skin and tissues of the body. Neem capsules made of an extract of neem that is used in treating various other skin ailments (psoriasis, eczema, ringworm) can be used to treat neurodermatitis. It has medicinal properties and possesses anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant and detoxifying properties. Gandhak Rasayana is another medicine that helps maintain skin moisture and removes dead skin cells. Manjistha capsules are another herbal remedy, which acts as a blood purifier and promotes early wound healing and is used to relieve skin ailments. Nirgundi oil is an herbal oil used for the management of various skin complaints that can be used in neurodermatitis. The oil has other herbs (manjistha, Kalahari, Haridra) that enhance its medicinal properties. It helps in faster recovery from wounds, helps to relieve pain and skin inflammation and other lesions of the skin.(1)

The exact cause of neurodermatitis is still unknown; however, the itch is initiated by a skin irritant or allergen, such as an insect bite or wearing tight clothes. Neurodermatitis is also strongly related to other skin conditions, such as eczema, dry skin or psoriasis. It is also aggravated by stress, anxiety, and depression.(1)

Neurodermatitis presents with red itchy, scaly, patchy, rough, leathery and discolored skin. It may even lead to permanent scarring or skin discoloration. The itching is so intense and severe that it may even lead to an unconscious habit of scratching during sleep. People more prone to neurodermatitis belong to the 30-50 year age group with a greater predilection for women.(1)

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