Neurodermatitis more than a skin disease

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Dry, itchy and inflamed skin – these are the main characteristics of atopic dermatitis. According to estimates, up to six million Germans suffer from the skin disease – including many children.

Neurodermatitis is a chronic skin disease. It is also known as atopic eczema or atopic dermatitis and usually occurs in episodes. Affected skin areas are reddened, dry, scaly and very itchy. The disease is not contagious.

Neurodermatitis usually begins in infancy or toddlerhood. About every sixth child is affected. Symptoms often disappear at primary school age or during puberty. In adulthood, only one to three percent of Germans still suffer from the skin rashes.

Is neurodermatitis contagious?

No, neurodermatitis is not contagious. However, the conspicuous skin rashes can still lead to sufferers being ostracized. As parents, you should therefore always point out to kindergarten, school and friends that the fear of infection is unfounded.


In the development of neurodermatitis, various factors usually come together.

On the one hand, the natural protective function of the skin limited in neurodermatitis patients. The skin is very dry, it comes more easily to inflammations.

In addition, there is often a genetic predisposition of the immune system, react hypersensitively to certain substances – similar to a Allergy. Therefore, those affected often also have food allergies, hay fever or asthma.

But whether the disease actually breaks out then depends, among other things, on various environmental factors, such as cigarette smoke or extreme heat or cold. Nutrition and stress can also play a role in the development of neurodermatitis.

Can neurodermatitis be prevented?

Infants at risk of neurodermatitis should be fully breastfed for six months. complementary food should be introduced gradually only after the sixth month. Avoid highly allergenic foods such as egg, fish and nuts during the first year of life.

In addition, a smoke-free household is recommended. These measures cannot completely prevent atopic dermatitis, but they make an outbreak of the disease less likely or at least delay or weaken it.

Can vaccinations trigger neurodermatitis?

There are theories that vaccinations can promote neurodermatitis. However, this thesis is not proven beyond doubt. One should always keep in mind: Vaccinations prevent serious diseases, and not vaccinating carries risks. Parents should therefore inform themselves in detail and seek advice from their doctor.

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