Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
To lessen the itch and irritation caused by neurodermatitis, follow these tips:
- Try over-the-counter medications. Apply an anti-itch cream or lotion to the affected area. A nonprescription hydrocortisone cream can temporarily relieve the itch. A nonprescription oral antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl, others), may be helpful if itching is severe.
- Cover the affected area. Bandages or dressings can help protect the skin and prevent scratching. This may be especially important 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 cool baths. Sprinkle the bath water with baking soda, uncooked oatmeal or colloidal oatmeal — a finely ground oatmeal that is made for the bathtub (Aveeno, others).
- Wear smooth-textured cotton clothing. This will help you avoid irritation.
- Choose mild soaps without dyes or perfumes. Be sure to rinse the soap completely off your body. And after washing, apply an unscented moisturizer to protect your skin.
- Keep stress under control. Stress and anxiety can trigger itching.
- 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.