Neurodermatitis comprises of two words, meaning skin inflammation due to nerve or neuromuscular causes. The other term used for this disorder is lichen simplex chronicus. It is characterized by various skin symptoms like intense itching, thickening of the skin, redness, blister formation, plaques formation, powdery white scales, thick lines of keratosis, ulcer formation, etc. It is a non-infectious, non-communicable and non-contagious disease means it does not spread by touching, sharing clothes, using towels, airborne contact, and all other methods of spread of infectious diseases, etc. Although sometimes superficial infection after the primary neurodermatitis has taken place is seen which could be infectious because of secondary infection.
The most common cause of the lichen simplex chronicus is idiopathic. The mechanism and spreading of the condition are not well known but the non-infectious and non-contagious nature of the disease is known. The causes are not belonging to any infectious agents like bacteria, virus, fungus, etc. Neuropsychological causes are found to be associated with neurodermatitis in various cases like stress, anxiety, tension, obsessive compulsion, teenage problems, mood swings, etc.
Coping Methods For Neurodermatitis
Medical treatment is available and effective for the condition but the individual effort for coping from the disorder is also required because of its psychological origin. For the patients who are suffering from underlying psychological causes of the neurodermatitis are given the behavioral modification therapy. Psychological causes like obsessive-compulsive disorder can be modified or reduced by exposure and response prevention psychotherapy which would be helpful in making the person habitual for not providing the stimulus of scratching. Habit modification and response prevention are taught to be practiced in the daily routine so that the repeated stimulus provided on the affected skin can be reduced and the skin can get more time to heal and cure effectively.
Mechanical barriers are also used as an adjuvant treatment with the medication to help cope up with the disease. In this mode of treatment, the affected area is covered by a bandage or dressing with a topical steroid ointment to provide more surface contact to the affected area and it also blocks the habit of rubbing or scratching the affected part which in turn reduces the stimulus causing the neurodermatitis. It is an effective mode of treatment which works very well with the patients of psychological origin of disease and provides good supportive treatment for medical therapy.
Medical treatment is a first-line and basic treatment for the neurodermatitis and its symptoms especially the itching because it is a most troublesome and intense symptom. A maximum number of cases is cured by the use of drugs and no surgical intervention is required usually.
Topical steroids are the drugs of choice for the treatment of neurodermatitis. These are effective because these have strong anti-inflammatory properties which reduce the immune reaction generated by the body against the allergen in contact. These act by decreasing lichenification, skin thickening, a stimulus to scratch and inflammation.
Anti-histaminic drugs are commonly used drugs in this disorder as they act on histamine-releasing cells in the body to reduce itching. Another class of drugs known as immunomodulators and immunosuppressants is also used in long-standing or refractory cases having a high immune response against the stimulus. These act by reducing the production of inflammatory cells of the body. Antianxiety and Antidepressants are also used quite often in the treatment of neurodermatitis because of more association of the disease with the psychological causes.
Neurodermatitis is a psychological condition manifesting as a physical disorder. A mechanical barrier is a good method to improve the coping skills of a patient against the disorder because as much the medical therapy is required for the condition as much as the patient’s effort is needed. Habit modifying therapies are very much helpful in the treatment of the condition. Patients should develop strong willpower and should fight the ongoing life stress, emotional problems, and age-related tensions to cope with the disorder.
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