These self-care measures can help you manage neurodermatitis:
Sept. 29, 2015
- Stop rubbing and scratching. The itching may be intense, but rubbing and scratching worsen the situation.
- Apply cool, wet compresses. These may soothe the skin and relieve the itch. Putting a cool, wet compress on the affected skin for a few minutes before you apply a medicated cream helps it soak into the skin.
- Try over-the-counter medications. Apply an anti-itch cream or lotion to the affected area. A hydrocortisone cream can temporarily relieve the itch. An oral antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl, others) can relieve severe itching and help you sleep. Some people have had success with capsaicin (kap-SAY-ih-sin) cream, but it may sting at first.
- Cover the affected area. Bandages or dressings can help protect the skin and prevent scratching. These may be especially useful if you scratch during your sleep.
- Keep your nails trimmed. Short nails may do less damage to the skin, especially if you tend to scratch while you're asleep.
- Take warm baths and moisturize your skin. Prepare your bath with warm — not hot — water. Sprinkle in baking soda, uncooked oatmeal or colloidal oatmeal (Aveeno, others). Use mild soaps without dyes or perfumes. After washing, apply unscented moisturizer to protect your skin.
- Avoid triggers. Notice what seems to bring on a recurrence and avoid it. For example, use stress management techniques and wear clothing that isn't itchy.
- AskMayoExpert. Pruritis. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
- Lichen simplex chronicus (Neurodermatitis). Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic-disorders/dermatitis/lichen-simplex-chronicus. Accessed July 29, 2015.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Nummular eczema, lichen simplex chronicus and prurigo nodularis. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed July 29, 2015.
- Wolff K, et al. Eczema/Dermatitis. In: Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Aug. 5, 2015.
- AskMayoExpert. Phototherapy. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Fazio SB, et al. Pruritus: Overview of management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 5, 2015.
- Ferri FF. Lichen simplex chronicus. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2016. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 29, 2015.
- Neurodermatitis. American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/m---p/neurodermatitis. Accessed July 29, 2015.
- Liao YH, et al. Increased risk of lichen simplex chronicus in people with anxiety disorder: A nationwide population-based retrospective cohort study. British Journal of Dermatology. 2014;170:890.