Neurodermatitis, also known as lichen simplex chronicus, is a chronic skin disease. Neurodermatitis is based on a hereditary predisposition. This condition is more common in children; family members with histories of other skin diseases, including eczema and contact dermatitis, are more likely to develop neurodermatitis. Also allergies and neurodermatitis are closely associated.
Signs and symptoms of neurodermatitis include:
The itchiness may come and go or be nonstop. Scaly patches typically appear on the neck, wrists, forearms, and legs.
Neurodermatitis is generally characterised by very dry skin. This is caused, because the sebaceous glands in the affected areas are only functioning to a limited degree. Due to the inflammatory changes to the skin caused by certain bacteria, neurodermatitis suffers feel an itchiness. The defensive and protective function of the skin is disturbed, allowing bacteria and fungus to spread. This can usually be seen in the form of a yellow colouration of the affected area of skin.
Although not life-threatening, it can produce an important psychosocial burden, sleep disturbance and sexual dysfunction. Particularly for younger patients, this illness can make their life quite difficult.
The causes are still unclear. Neurodermatitis is due to a family disposition to allergies. Previous contact with allergy-causing substances also plays a role here. For example, contact with pets, dust mites or some foods, such as eggs and milk protein, parabens, preservatives,… Stress and cigarette smoke can also be causing factors.
Neurodermatitis is the most common chronic skin disease in babies and toddlers and occurs during the first five years of life. Gradually diminishes with age. By early adulthood, about 60 percent of sufferers are symptom-free, although they're often left with dry, sensitive skin. They may also have a higher susceptibility to allergies, such as hay fever.