Neurodermatitis / Atopic Dermatitis

When the term "neurodermatitis" was coined, it was thought at first that it was a nerve inflamma-tion. Although this cause is now excluded, the term is still common.

It starts with the diagnosis

In infants you will find an early form of atopic eczema in the form of infantile eczema, commonly known as "milk crust" or "cradle cap". Later, most of the symptoms show on face and neck, hands and elbows as well as in the hollow of the knee.  

There are numerous criteria according to which atopic dermatitis is diagnosed. These include the typical condition of the skin that is much more sensitive and drier than in healthy persons, itching and a corresponding history that considers not only the patient but also his family. It is striking that many eczema patients also suffer from allergies.

Some characteristic external features belong to the so-called atopic stigmata: dry skin, laterally thinned eyebrows (Hertoghe's or Queen Anne's sign), a double lower eyelid crease (Dennie-Morgan fold) and inverse vascular response upon scratching – streaks formed are not red but white (white dermographic urticaria).

The severity of atopic eczema can be determined using a variety of scores. In Europe, SCORAD (Scoring Atopic Dermatitis) is most widely  used.

And the causes?

Despite many new studies, no clear cause has been identified so far. A combination of genetic predisposition, a disorder of the immune system and environmental factors is suspected. In addition, there is often worsening of symptoms during psychological stress.

The sensitivity of the skin causes certain fibres to produce an itching sensation upon contact. But with dry skin that does not have sufficient natural barrier function, the scratching to resolve the itch may quickly lead to infection and / or eczema. Inflammable areas are formed that weep and eventually become encrusted.

Since the disease often progresses in bouts with varying degrees of reactions, treatment for those affected is often a vicious circle: when there is a deterioration which is also visible to people in the patient's environment, this has a negative impact on the psyche. Psychological stress, however, may in turn exacerbate the symptoms.

Treatment options

Although more and more people – especially children – develop atopic eczema, there is also good news: the symptoms often decline with increasing age and in many cases even disappear completely upon onset of puberty. About a third of those affected, however, continue to suffer from the symptoms as adults.

Until then many sufferers have to go through a long ordeal, as only the symptoms are treated, usually in the form of glucocorticoids, which in turn can have side effects. And as atopic persons already suffer from a hyperactive immune system anyway, usually food and other allergies will aggravate the situation.

A normally responsive immune system fights intruders such as viruses, bacteria, fungi as well as other foreign substances in most cases without pathological reactions. Substances identified as harmless are essentially ignored. By contrast, an overzealous immune system reacts to such harmless substances with unreasonable violence – an allergic reaction. This is due mostly to increased permeability of the intestinal mucosa.

A functioning immune system can be achieved, however, only when the intestinal mucosa is intact. Atopic diseases can be improved via therapy of the mucous membranes with Synerga®!

Please note, however, that this information does not replace a detailed discussion with your doctor. Some information may also cause unnecessary fears. Please talk to your doctor about such concerns. And we explicitly encourage you to ask your doctor your questions, even very personal questions that cannot be answered by this information.

Please read the patient information leaflet carefully. If you have any further questions after reading it, please ask your doctor or pharmacist.