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How Common Is Neurodermatitis Or Is It A Rare Disease?

How Common Is Neurodermatitis Or Is It A Rare Disease?

Lichen simplex chronicus is a pruritic disorder with a strong urge to itch, scratch and thickened skin with an increase in pigmentation. It is a disease of adulthood commonly seen in the age of 30-50 years belonging to mid to late adulthood. According to a study conducted in adult people, nearly 10% of the people had suffered from itching disorder in their lifetime which is similar to neurodermatitis[1]. It is a huge number to be stated in a population which makes it a rather common disease than a rare one. Although the exact epidemiological data is not available on the disease it is considered a commonly encountered condition in adults. It is also seen in children exposed to smoke exhaust for long periods of time but the establishment of the relation is yet to be made.

How Common Is Neurodermatitis Or Is It A Rare Disease?

Neurodermatitis has been found to show female predominance in the cases and the number is about twice in females as compared to cases in males. Females of age between 35 to 50 years are found to be more affected than the other age groups with neurodermatitis[2]. It is apparently because of the more factorial association of the disease with the causes in females. The incidence of the allergy and psychological factors is also high in females than males which can make sense to the female predominance in the lichen simplex chronicus. No predominance is found in the people of different races with all races are found to be affected equally. Its incidence is equal among all with uniform distribution. The factors responsible for the condition are found to be different in different countries like the developed countries are facing more of the factors like psychological ones whereas the developing countries are more associated with the industrial exposure, smoke exhaust, etc.

The causes and triggers associated with neurodermatitis are also very common. Psychological ailments like stress, anxiety, tension, obsessive compulsion, teenage problems, mood swings, etc. are becoming part of the modern-day epidemic of non-communicable diseases. Since these causes are very common in today’s hectic and stressful life, the emotional form of it sometimes manifests itself as in the form of physical symptoms one of which is this condition.

Allergy which is a common trigger has also become common and the immune system has also got change over the period of time, making the population more susceptible to such diseases. Usage of Paraphenylenediamine found in hair dyes is also a common cause. Insect bites, heavy metal exposure, etc. are also common because of the advent of industrialization.

It is a curable disease with very good prognosis and success rate of the treatment. Medical treatment is a first-line and basic, for the neurodermatitis. Maximum numbers of cases are cured by the use of drugs and no surgical intervention is required usually. Topical steroids are the drugs most commonly used in the treatment of neurodermatitis. Doxepin is a very good drug given in the treatment of neurodermatitis. It is a very effective drug because it has both antidepressant and antihistaminic properties to fight both, the cause and the effect at the same time.


With the available epidemiological data on the lichen simplex chronicus, it is established by the epidemiologists that it is a fairly common disease to be found in mid to late adulthood with female predominance as much as twice to the males. Few causes and factors of the neurodermatitis are found to be rare. One of them is the exposure to lithium metal, it has caused neurodermatitis in very few cases reported till now but the association has been found on the positive side with the disease. As much as is the role of medical treatment, it is also necessary for the patients to undergo behavioral therapy and habit modification counseling sessions. Patients should fight ongoing life stress, emotional problems, and age-related tensions to cope with the disorder.


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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 1, 2019

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