DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Neurodermatitis starts with a patch of itchy skin, but scratching it makes the area even itchier. Eventually you may scratch simply out of habit. This cycle of chronic itching and scratching can cause the affected skin to become thick and leathery.
Neurodermatitis — also known as lichen simplex chronicus — isn't serious, but breaking the itch-scratch cycle is challenging.
Successful treatment of neurodermatitis depends on identifying and eliminating factors that may be aggravating the problem. Over-the-counter and prescription creams can help ease neurodermatitis symptoms.
- Lichen simplex chronicus (Neurodermatitis). The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic_disorders/dermatitis/lichen_simplex_chronicus.html?qt=neurodermatitis&alt=sh. Accessed Aug. 14, 2012.
- Park KK, et al. Pathologic skin picking. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 14, 2012.
- Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine.7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=505. Accessed Aug. 14, 2012.