Neurodermatitis, or lichen simplex chronicus, is a skin disorder that started with a patch of itchy skin. Uncontrollable scratching may cause the skin to thicken and become scaly. Women are more susceptible to this condition than men. Common areas of itchy patch are on the arm, leg, or the back of the neck. Some develops in the anal and genital areas.
Neurodermatitis is not contagious nor life-threatening however, intense itchiness may be bothersome and start to interfere with your daily routine. The exact cause of this itchiness is unknown. Sometimes, it simply starts as skin irritation due to tight clothing or bug bites. Then the scratching doesn’t end. In some cases, neurodermatitis is associated with other skin conditions like dry skin, eczema or psoriasis. Stress and anxiety can trigger itching too.
Signs of Neurodermatitis includes:
- An itchy skin patch or patches
- Leathery or scaly texture on the affected areas
- A raised, rough patch or patches that are red or darker than the rest of the skin
The doctor may diagnose neurodermatitis by examining your signs and symptoms or whether you are scratching uncontrollably. To confirm diagnosis, he or she may perform a skin biopsy. This takes a small sample of your skin to be tested in the laboratory.
Treating this condition means treating the underlying cause of the itch. To reduce itchyness and prevent complications, your doctor may recommend:
- Anti-inflammatory medicated creams
- Corticosteroid injections
- Anti-itch medications
- Light therapy
Psychotherapy and anti-anxiety drugs can be prescribed if your itch is due to anxiety or stress.