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It itches and burns. Most of all, you want to scratch all the time. Red rashes are mixed with severe itching and cracked skin. Neurodermatitis, also called atopic dermatitis (AD), is a very common, non-contagious skin condition. The first signs of atopic dermatitis-prone skin can be contained with natural care products to reduce or even prevent any unpleasant atopic dermatitis flare-ups.
Which indications speak for the chronic skin disease, where it comes from and how you can counteract it (preventively) with a natural skin care, you will learn in this article.
What is neurodermatitis?
Neurodermatitis is a chronic skin disease that can affect all age groups. However, while only 1.5-2% of adults suffer from it, atopic dermatitis is seen in 10-15% of children up to the age of 7. At the onset of the disease, the skin is inflamed – sometimes over a large area – and red, scaly and itchy eczema develops in these areas. Since atopic dermatitis occurs in episodes, sufferers usually also have symptom-free phases. Even if the skin is prone to neurodermatitis, you can counteract the disease with certain means and methods.
How to recognize neurodermatitis?
Neurodermatitis has a number of symptoms. Externally, a change in the outer layer of the skin (= epidermis) is the most visible feature of the skin disease. Affected persons mainly suffer from very dry, cracked and inflamed skin areas, which are reddened and sometimes also crusted with blood. The rashes can develop at any age and all over the body. The damaged skin barrier is usually accompanied by severe itching, which often leads to destruction of the skin structure by scratching. A vicious circle for the skin begins.
Atopic dermatitis can lead to a number of concomitant diseases, which are not only externally apparent. Internally, for example, neurodermatitis can promote allergies up to allergic asthma and also psychological stress.
Triggers and causes of neurodermatitis
Human skin has a natural protective layer, called epidermis, which acts as a barrier against fat and water loss and at the same time prevents the penetration of unwanted germs. An intact skin barrier is overgrown by a healthy combination of bacteria and fungi.
In neurodermatitis patients, the skin barrier is damaged and the protective function is no longer adequate due to a lack of protective skin lipids. Therefore, there is a greater susceptibility to infection and the skin becomes inflamed. Allergens, dust mite particles, microbes or other pests can more easily enter the human body through the skin and promote allergic sensitization. The result is disturbing allergies. In addition, the functions of blood circulation, perspiration and temperature regulation are often no longer intact in skin affected with neurodermatitis.
The lack of protective skin lipids is promoted primarily by three complex factors: Genetics, immune system and environmental factors or external influences.
While little can be done about a family history, the other two factors for atopic dermatitis can certainly be influenced. There are a number of trigger points that can be crucial for the onset of atopic dermatitis. For example, habitat, diet and personal hygiene have a major effect on genetically predisposed skin.
Dry climates or low UV light exposure can promote the skin disease. Life in the city can also be the skin’s undoing. In turn, salt water has a good effect on neurodermatitis. But attention should also be paid to the substances in the immediate environment. Aggressive acids, bleaches and solvents can hide in detergents, cleaning agents or other items and cause long-term damage to the skin barrier. Pay attention to a healthy living environment and products that are free of harmful substances and skin-friendly.
For skin prone to atopic dermatitis, a healthy and proper diet is often a good approach to alleviate the clinical picture. Thus, sugar and unsaturated fatty acids have been shown to promote various inflammations in the body. The renunciation of these and also of allergy-causing foods could represent an essential starting point for the prevention of the chronic skin disease.
Supplementing powerful natural free radical scavengers such as astaxanthin, a natural carotenoid found in plants and other sources, can also have a positive effect on inflammatory processes in the body and on the skin.
(Proper) skin care
Skin care is a key factor in the prevention and treatment of atopic dermatitis. Since many conventional care products contain water as the main component as well as chemical substances, the skin is permanently dried out and the protective barrier is damaged.
Surfactants in cosmetic and hygiene products can not only irritate the skin, but also promote its dehydration, as they dissolve the natural oils from the skin. This, in turn, can promote atopic dermatitis and associated flare-ups.
Natural skin care for atopic dermatitis prone skin
If the skin is prone to neurodermatitis, appropriate (preventive) skin care is particularly important. The already irritated and dry skin should be treated with water-free and selected care products. In order to keep the skin barrier healthy or regenerate it and at the same time protect it from dehydration, care products should be chosen specifically for the current skin needs.
PHYSTINE products are not only free of chemical and skin-irritating ingredients, but contain only natural plant oils, extracts and waxes. The natural purity of PHYSTINE products ensures the best bioavailability (= absorption) of the natural active ingredients into the skin and body.
For skin prone to atopic dermatitis, PHYSTINE recommends different care products or product combinations depending on the current condition of your skin.
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Lara’s product recommendations for atopic dermatitis prone skin
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Kim B E , Leung D YM. Significance of Skin Barrier Dysfunction in Atopic Dermatitis, Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2018 May;10(3):207-215.
Kim J, Kim B E, Leung D YM. Pathophysiology of atopic dermatitis: clinical implications, Allergy Asthma Proc 40:84 -92, 2019.
Torres T, et al. Update on atopic dermatitis, Acta Med Port 2019 Sep;32(9):606-613.