Neurodermatitis: Quick Guide + Top Home Treatment Tips 2022
We’ve all been there... *sitting happily on the sofa minding one’s own business and generally enjoying life*
….Enter eczema *Seriously? You really think I’m letting you off that easy?! I’m about to make you itch in 5 different places all at once!*
PUT YOUR HANDS UP IF YOU CAN RELATE
Ok you can drop them now.
This is an all too familiar story that many eczema sufferers experience (probably daily). You think life is all rainbows and unicorns, then your skin slaps you round the face with a big wet proverbial fish.
The itch-scratch-stress cycle is a downward spiral that can at times feel all consuming and impossible to break free from.
And there's then neurodermatitis.
This lovely type of eczema is characterised by this exact behaviour and below we'll take you through:
1) What is neurodermatitis?
4) Who is affected?
5) 4 top tips for a simple home treatment plan
So, what is neurodermatitis?
Also referred to as Lichen Simplex Chronicus, neurodermatitis is a common (but no less frustrating) form of atopic dermatitis (AD).
Affecting about 12% of the population, it differs from AD in that it usually impacts a specific patch or location on the body.
It’s not common for neurodermatitis to go away on its own and the perpetual scratching that it causes can impact nerve endings in the skin, intensifying the need to itch even further.
Overtime, the constant scratching can cause thick, leathery patches of skin to form as well as impacting your mental health, sleep and overall quality of life.
Signs of neurodermatitis include:
- An itchy patch (or patches!) of skin anywhere on your body
- A raised or rough patch that is a different colour than the rest of your skin
- Leathery texture on the affected area
The usual spots this tends to flare is:
- Sides or back of the neck
- Genitals (yay)
- In or behind the ears
Or essentially, anywhere you can scratch!
That itchy feeling can come and go, or be a persistent entity in your life. Usually, the need to itch will come in times of stress, or when you’re trying to relax/go to sleep.
Constantly scratching sore areas can open you up to the chance of infection or scarring, as well as hair loss if your scalp is one of the lucky spots.
It’s not uncommon for people to scratch in their sleep (another reason why those nails must be kept trimmed!) especially if you find yourself unconsciously scratching in the day.
Frustrating but inevitable - no one knows the exact causes of neurodermatitis.
From contact dermatitis to stress - it takes trial and error (and patience) to understand your own skin.
Who is affected?
Neurodermatitis tends to be more common in adults aged 30 to 50 - it’s rarely diagnosed in children.
It occurs more frequently in women and people who already suffer from contact or atopic dermatitis.
Top tips for a simple home treatment plan
1) Yan-yee skincare calming spray
Whatdya know - our very own calming spray!
Enriched with a blend of 3 traditional Chinese herbs trusted for 1000’s of years in Asian medicine, our plant-based formula is specifically designed to break the itch-scratch cycle through deeply moisturising dry skin and working to repair the skin’s natural barrier.
But don’t just take our word for it - read more into the ingredients we’ve used and why our calming spray could be your new best bud in fighting off flare ups.
2) Identify your triggers
Goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway).
You need to understand your triggers! Whether that’s doing a patch or allergy test, an elimination diet, or just going to see your doctor for more info, you’ve GOT to get this nailed.
We know triggers can be really difficult to find (like a bag of flour 3rd week into lockdown, remember that?) but it’s really where you should be focusing the majority of your energy. Trust us, we’re kinda smart.
3) Meditation and Mindfulness
Left field - but bear with us.
We know the barriers to entry can seem high, like what the hell does mindfulness even mean? But trust us when we say it can help you break the itch-scratch cycle.
Research the term on Google, check out our social feeds or even download the app Headspace for free and play around for 10 minutes.
One of the biggest issues is the stress and anxiety associated with itching and how that perpetuates the cycle - as well as the unconscious scratching we’re all guilty of.
If mindfulness even gives you a half a shot at addressing this, it’s worth it.
4) Loose fitting, non irritating clothing
More practical and just as valid - don’t wear super tight clothing made from materials that might irritate your skin.
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The yan-yee team
- An J-G, et al. (2013). Quality of life of patients with neurodermatitis. Link
- Contact dermatitis. (2019). Link
- Neurodermatitis. (n.d.). Link