Neurodermatitis is the condition that causes severe itching on skin. The itching is so severe that the patients scratch his skin. Scratching of skin further leads to itching and the patient gets gripped into the vicious cycle. Neurodermatitis is a benign and non-life-threatening condition.

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Neurodermatitis is a chronic skin condition characterized by scratch-itching cycle. The condition gets initiated with itching. As the patient scratches the affected area, it further leads to itching. This continuous itching-scratching cycle leads to the formation of thigh, leather and spotted skin1.

It is all to be noted that like atopic dermatitis, a specific area is developed which is thick and discolored. However, the condition is different for atopic dermatitis in regard to a healthy skin present around the affected area2. The patches are also characterized by the presence of skin lines which are markedly seen. The condition is also known as lichen simplex chronicus.

How Dangerous Is Neurodermatitis?

How Dangerous Is Neurodermatitis?

Neurodermatitis is not life-threatening but significantly affects the quality of life and may cause sleep disturbances. The treatment is aimed to manage the symptoms because breaking this cycle of itching and scratching is too difficult. Thus, the condition is generally lifelong.

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The scratching is so severe and regular that person usually forms the habit of scratching even while sleeping. The itching occurs in various areas such as wrist, forearms, head, wrists, and neck. It is interesting to note that those organs are usually affected which can be reached for itching.

Anti-itching preparation provides relief from itching. The dermatologist may identify the allergens causing this condition and the patient is advised to stay away from those allergens.

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Is Neurodermatitis Contagious?

Although the exact cause of neurodermatitis is not known, the condition may generally be caused due to insect bites and coming in contact with allergens. Stress also seems to play a vital role in the development of lichen simplex chronicus2. This indicates that the causative agents are not contagious and thus the condition is neither contagious nor life-threatening. It is also to be noted that the condition is being and lifelong and the itching can be controlled by medications.

Complications Of Neurodermatitis

Complications Of Neurodermatitis

Neurodermatitis is a lifelong condition and the patient found himself in the continuous scratch-itching cycle. Although the treatment may provide relief from symptoms of neurodermatitis, the condition may progress to cause certain complications:

Reduced Quality Of Life: The quality of life of patient gets significantly reduced due to neurodermatitis. It has been found that the patients with this condition have poor social skills3 and they tend to get isolated from society. Hanging the symptoms effectively may improve the quality of life.

Sleep Deprivation: The itching episodes vary in different patients. In some patients, the itching is recurrent while in some patient, itching is continuous. The itching in these patients is so frequent and continuous that they have the habit of itching even at night. This result in a lack of sound sleep or the patient may be deprived of sleep.

Sexual Dysfunction: Sexual function of both males and females are affected due to neurodermatitis. In the female, neurodermatitis affects lubrication, arousal, orgasm, desire, and satisfcation4 while in males, this condition results in an increased risk of erectile dysfunction5.

Infection: During the itching-scratching cycle, the itching is severe and continuous. Very often the itching is almost uncontrollable. This results in an increased risk of wound development. Exposure of internal tissues may lead to increased risk of infection.

Scar: In some cases, neurodermatitis results in scar and change in the skin color.

Conclusion

Neurodermatitis is not dangerous enough to take away life but it surely reduces the quality of life. Complications of neurodermatitis include sleep deprivation, social isolation, sexual dysfunction in both male and female, increased risk of infection and sat on skin. Neurodermatitis is not a contagious condition and the exact cause of this condition remains unknown.

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Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

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Last Modified On: August 1, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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