Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Treatment is aimed at controlling the itching, preventing scratching and addressing underlying causes.

  • Anti-inflammatory medicated creams. If over-the-counter corticosteroid cream isn't helping, your doctor may prescribe a stronger version of this drug. A calcineurin inhibitor (tacrolimus) ointment may help if the vulva is involved.
  • Corticosteroid injections. Your doctor may inject corticosteroids directly into the affected skin to help it heal.
  • Anti-itch medications. Prescription antihistamines help relieve itching in many people with neurodermatitis. Some of these drugs may cause drowsiness and help with alleviating scratching while you sleep.
  • Anti-anxiety drugs. Because anxiety and stress can trigger neurodermatitis, anti-anxiety drugs may help prevent the itchiness.
  • Light therapy. Exposing the affected skin to particular types of light is sometimes helpful.
  • Psychotherapy. Talking with a counselor can help you learn how your emotions and behaviors can fuel — or prevent — itching and scratching.

Emerging therapies

Further study is needed, but some small studies have reported success with the following treatments:

  • Botulinum toxin (Botox) injection. This technique may reduce itching and clear up the rough skin patches.
  • Aspirin solution. Applying a solution combining aspirin and dichloromethane has been effective for some people with neurodermatitis.
Sept. 29, 2015