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.
Further study is needed, but some small studies have reported success with the following treatments:
Sept. 29, 2015
- 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.
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- 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.