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Neurodermatitis does not only affect children - it also affects adults
Constant itching, reddened and dry skin are the main symptoms in neurodermatitis. Skin ailment has not only affected children for a long time - many adults are also newly diagnosed with the autoimmune disease every year. The good news is, the disease usually stops on its own. The only question is when.
These are the symptoms of neurodermatitis:
- Dry skin: The skin is tense, feels rough and is slightly flaky.
- Constant itching
- Redness, inflammation and changes in the skin
Around 15 percent of all children have to deal with neurodermatitis in the course of their lives. This is the bad news. But there is also a good one: Most of the time, the disease goes away.
However, there are also those affected who have to deal with it for a lifetime. And even adults who get eczema for the first time very late.
The decisive factor for the length of a neurodermatitis disease is, among other things, when the skin disease first occurs. Rule of thumb: “The younger, the shorter”. About half of the children who developed neurodermatitis in the first year of life survived the disease after three years. That explains the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) at Gesundheitsinformation.de.
With older children it usually takes longer for the disease to disappear - for the vast majority then forever.
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No question of handling
But there are neurodermatitis patients who never get rid of the annoying scratching - or who suddenly return after a long break. "It has nothing to do with dealing with the disease, it's just bad luck," says Munich dermatologist Christoph Liebich from the Professional Association of German Dermatologists (BVDD).
Similar to many so-called childhood diseases, adult neurodermatitis is often a particularly severe variant of the disease. This is what the German Skin and Allergy Aid (DHA) points out: Large areas of the skin are often reddened, with very severe itching. In many cases, adult neurodermatitis also runs in phases, according to Gesundheitsinformation.de - sometimes it is stronger, sometimes weaker.
The causes of neurodermatitis in adulthood are still unclear, according to the DHA. For example, hormonal changes in old age or the decreasing barrier function of the skin come into question. Studies also show a connection with years of exposure to pollutants in the air - especially where there is no history of neurodermatitis, neither among relatives nor among the patients themselves.
Catch and prevent thrusts
Even if the correct treatment cannot cure or stop neurodermatitis, it is of course important - if only to keep the strain within limits. "Anyone who has learned to deal with the disease well can cope better and can cope with relapses," says dermatologist Liebich.
In the ideal case, relapses can even be prevented completely - for example by consistently fighting their typical triggers. One of them is stress. What helps, however, everyone has to know for themselves: "This is very individual - if you can't do anything with meditation, you might be able to cope better with yoga or sport in general," explains Liebich.
Resist consistently - and change habits
In general, good treatment of neurodermatitis includes knowing the disease and being prepared for typical problems - such as allergies. "Basically, neurodermatitis is not associated with allergies, but sufferers have a higher allergy potential," says Liebich. In addition, patients often struggle more with skin problems that all people have, the expert says: "Dry skin in winter, for example."
Skin care in general is an important topic for eczema anyway. If the neurodermatitis returns to adulthood or occurs first, this can mean a change in routine, the DHA advises - for example, because those affected have to apply more and different cream or the favorite body lotion suddenly does more harm than good.
If in doubt, the doctor knows which care is the right one and which medications and other countermeasures are still useful. Adults in particular often have to learn how to use these aids, says Liebich: “It is important to combat the first signs of flare-ups immediately, for example by using the prescribed medication - and not to think that it will go away on its own. ” (sb; source: dpa)