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What Leads To Neurodermatitis & Can It Be Cured?

Neurodermatitis comprises of three words, neuro pertaining to the nerve, derma pertaining to skin and it is pertaining to inflammation. It is also denoted by the term lichen simplex chronicus. It is a disorder characterized by various skin symptoms like intense itching, thickening of skin, redness, blister formation[1], etc.

What Leads To Neurodermatitis & Can It Be Cured?

What Leads To Neurodermatitis?

The most frequently encountered cause is unknown or idiopathic in nature with most of the cases belonging to this category. Another cause frequently observed is atopy. Atopy means allergy to some environmental antigen resulting in the immune reaction by the body against it to eliminate it from the body. The causes of these disorders are non-infectious only with the establishment of the fact that any types of infections like bacterial, fungal, viral, etc. are not labeled as neurodermatitis. Insect bites, scars, xerosis, bite marks, venous insufficiency, peripheral neuropathies, etc. are also some other known causes of neurodermatitis. Some heavy metals exposure and lithium, in particular, has been found to be related to its cause in rare cases.

Neurological and psychological causes are also found to be associated with neurodermatitis like stress, anxiety, tension, obsessive compulsion, teenage problems, etc. These can initiate the habit of rubbing on a particular site on the body resulting in persistent trauma on that site which initiate the bodily response against it by increasing the thickness of the skin at the site and also increases the pigmentation of it.[2] It is commonly found in the accessible regions of the body by the hand where a person can scratch himself or herself because the causes are found to be related to habitual disorders of rubbing a body part continuously without any cause.

Can Neurodermatitis Be Cured?

Neurodermatitis is a curable disease with of prognosis and success rate of the treatment. Medical treatment is ideally the first choice of treatment and is very helpful. The disease can get cured sometimes in a very short period of time like within weeks but sometimes refractory cases are known to be going up to years even with treatment and few of them may proceed to incurable ones. These refractory cases are generally those which are associated with some psychological underlying condition which is providing the stimulus for the neuro dermatitis repeatedly causing the refractoriness of the disease.

Anti-histaminic drugs are the most commonly used drugs in neurodermatitis disorder as they act on histamine release in the body to reduce itching. Anti-anxiety drugs are also used to treat the underlying psychological disorders to remove the stimulus of the neuro dermatitis. Anti-depressants are also used sometimes for depressive psychological disorders. Topical steroid application is the mainstay of the treatment. In refractory cases, intralesional steroids can be tried.

Occlusive dressing and pressure bandaging is done to prevent the person from itching. It provides the mechanical barrier for the habit of itching. Counseling and psychotherapy may also be needed in known cases of psychological causes.


Neuro dermatitis is a non-infectious type of disorder with intense itching as its primary symptoms and sign. It does not spread by touching or mechanical contact as it is non-communicable in nature because its causes are not related to microorganisms. The cause and mechanism of the disease are unknown in the majority of the patients due to the idiopathic origin. Patients who are more susceptible to allergic immune reactions are found to be prone to it. For the treatment of neuro dermatitis, the mind also had to be sound because it is also seen with a strong association with psychological factors like stress, anxiety, etc. It is a curable disease and gets corrected mostly with behavioral therapy and medical treatment in a short period of time and do not leave any complications generally. It is important for the people affected this disorder to know about it because they also need to make a conscious effort for its treatment and prevention.


Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 17, 2019

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