Neurodermatitis Symptoms - Itching

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Neurodermatitis Symptoms - Itching
Neurodermatitis Symptoms - Itching

Video: Neurodermatitis Symptoms - Itching

Video: Neurodermatitis Symptoms - Itching
Video: Neurodermatitis – How to relieve the itching. | In Good Shape 2023, September

Neurodermatitis: symptoms

Atopic dermatitis can appear on the entire surface of the body. The face, the elbows and hollows of the knees, and the hands are most commonly affected. The skin symptoms are different depending on the stage (acute or chronic) and age. The biggest problem is the itching. This usually occurs periodically and often forces those affected to scratch or rub themselves constantly. Neurodermatitis patients therefore often sleep poorly and are often chronically overtired.


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  • What early forms of neurodermatitis are there?
  • What are the stages of the disease?
  • What special forms of neurodermatitis are there?
  • How does neurodermatitis work?
  • What complications can arise?

What early forms of neurodermatitis are there?

The designation cradle cap goes to the similarity of the inflammatory lesions with "burned-encrusted in the pot of milk" and do not mean that a milk intolerance is the cause. It can represent an early form of neurodermatitis. Cradle cap occurs especially in babies after the third month of life. The scalp is mainly affected, and less often the skin of the eyebrows and cheeks. Redness and itching as well as yellow-brownish scales are typical. Most of the time, cradle cap disappears after a few months. After that, however, there is an increased risk of further atopic dermatitis attacks later.

In early childhood (zero to two years), non-infectious inflammatory reactions (eczema) are predominant in the area of the face, the hairy scalp and on the outside ("extensor sides") of arms and legs. Later, skin changes are often found in the flexion folds of joints such as the hollows of the knees and the bends of the elbows ("flexor eczema").

In adults, hand eczema or the so-called prurigoform (prurigo = Latin for itching) with strongly itchy nodules and lumps can also occur. Minimal variants of atopic dermatitis can manifest themselves in inflammation of the lips, cracked corners of the mouth or earlobes, eczema on the nipples as well as scaly redness and tears in the area of the fingertips and toes.

What are the stages of the disease?

Depending on the duration of the inflammation, different skin changes can appear on the affected areas. A distinction is made between acute and chronic stages of inflammation.

  • Acute inflammatory stage: the skin changes have only recently appeared. The skin is often swollen and discolored a deep red. It may ooze or blister. Itching, burning and pain are often also present.
  • Chronic inflammatory stage: The skin changes have existed for a long time, such as weeks or even months. Itching itching, dry flakes and reddening and swelling of the skin are predominant. Small raised pimples can open, become inflamed, oozing and crusty when scratched. In the later course of the disease, frequent scratching often leads to thickening of the skin and coarsening of the skin (lichenification), recognizable by a non-even complexion. So-called gloss nails are also typical. They are also caused by constant scratching. The surface of the fingernails is polished.

What special forms of neurodermatitis are there?

In addition to the typical symptoms of acute or chronic neurodermatitis, there are some special forms:

  • In pruriginous neurodermatitis ("prurigoform", prurigo = Latin for itching), numerous extremely itchy nodules develop on the skin, which are usually scratched open quickly.
  • From a nummular atopic dermatitis occurs when coin-shaped reddish inflammation occur on the skin.
  • Neurodermatitis can only affect individual small areas of the body, such as atopic eyelid eczema. Here the skin around the eyes is mostly reddish and thick and possibly scaly. In the case of isolated infestation of the eyes, primarily "airborne" (airborne) provocation factors such as pollen or house dust mite antigens come into consideration as triggers.
  • With sucking eczema in infancy or toddler age or with licking eczema in childhood, the skin changes occur around the mouth. In addition to the flow of saliva or "licking", an additional cause that must be taken into account is a possible yeast colonization of the oral mucosa and the tongue (oral thrush).

So-called minimal forms can indicate the presence of a tendency to neurodermatitis even without pronounced skin changes. Here are some examples:

  • double lower eyelid fold (Dennie Morgan fold);
  • increased line drawing of the palm;
  • dry and possibly fish-scale skin;
  • reddish-brown spots especially on the arms and legs due to cornification of the hair shafts (keratosis follicularis);
  • Thinning (lack or clearing) of the lateral eyebrow area (Hertoghe sign);
  • cracked corners of the mouth or earlobes;
  • increased neck folds;
  • Appearance of white lines when brushing the skin with a pointed object (white dermographism); normally the skin reacts to this stimulus with reddening;
  • dry or cracked fingertips and toes, especially in winter;
  • Formation of small water bubbles on the fingers, especially in summer as well
  • Inflammation of the nipples.

How does neurodermatitis work?

The course of atopic dermatitis is changeable with flare-ups of varying duration and severity. The disease can recur frequently. Even mild symptoms of illness sometimes result in severe impairments and psychological stress. Spontaneous healing is possible at any time, but there is currently no medical cure. Around every third child who suffers from neurodermatitis also develops eczema, at least temporarily, in adulthood.

What complications can arise?

More common complications of atopic dermatitis are infections with bacteria, viruses or skin fungi. Honey-yellow to orange crusts indicate an infection with bacteria (impetiginization). Bacteria can be grown and identified using a microbiological smear on special nutrient media, which makes targeted therapy possible. The most common types of bacteria are staphylococci and streptococci.

Less common complications are eye diseases (e.g. glaucoma or retinal detachment) and circular hair loss. Malnutrition and malnutrition can be caused by untargeted diets and constant itching and lead to growth disorders in children. Neurodermatitis can be associated with a cornification disorder (ichthyosis vulgaris).