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Neurodermatitis: the fight against itching

It itches so much you can't help scratching. Anyone who's been bitten by a mosquito or stung by a nettle knows the feeling. Some neurodermatitis patients struggle with this kind of itching their whole life long. The likelihood that the condition will heal is greatest while patients are still young.

Neurodermatitis (atopic eczema) is a chronically relapsing skin disease. It usually first appears in infancy, and according to the Swiss Allergy Centre (aha!) affects up to twenty per cent of children in Switzerland. The condition often improves or even disappears completely by the time the child reaches school age, and only four or five per cent of the adult population still suffers from neurodermatitis.

Neurodermatitis isn't infectious. It's often passed on in the genes. The precise cause of the condition is still not known. The triggers vary from patient to patient, which means there are also many different ways of treating it.

There's no test for identifying neurodermatitis. The condition can only be diagnosed on the basis of the symptoms, which range from dry, sensitive skin to serious itching and even inflammation of the skin.

Tips for dealing with dermatitis on a day-to-day basis
You should discuss how to treat the condition with your doctor, but there are a few general tips that can bring relief:
  • Sweating makes the itching worse. So make sure you're suitably dressed, especially in bed. You should also avoid dressing too warmly during the day.
  • Your mental and emotional state can also affect the condition. Try relaxation techniques: you can read more about them here in our customer magazine.
  • When you choose what to wear, pay attention to the fabric and finish. Natural fibres such as cotton, silk and linen are recommended. Since everyone's skin reacts differently, you should check in each case whether the fabric is good for your skin.
  • Make sure the seams of your bottom layer of clothing are on the outside.
  • Avoid using fabric softener on functional clothing, as it makes it less breathable.
  • Take care of your skin according to the season. In winter you should use greasier creams, and in summer products with a higher moisturiser content.
If you have any further questions about your health, you can ask the doctors and medical staff at the sante24 health advice helpline for expert advice – free of charge, 24 hours a day. On request, sante24 can also make a doctor’s appointment for you. Tel. +41 (0)44 404 86 86