Neurodermitis: Ursachen, Symptome und Behandlungsansätze

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Neurodermatitis: causes, symptoms and treatment approaches

Dr. Adrian Weingart

Neurodermatitis: causes, symptoms and treatment approaches

In this blog article you will find out what you need to know about neurodermatitis (also called atopic dermatitis).

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin disease characterized by dry skin that can be irritated, severely itchy, scaly and inflamed. The disease is one of the most common skin diseases in Germany and often begins in childhood. In adults, neurodermatitis occurs particularly on the flexor sides of the arms and legs, on the neck and hands.

Who is affected?

Studies have shown that young children are most commonly affected. While the disease is roughly equally distributed among girls and boys in five to nine-year-olds, this changes from the age of ten. year of life clearly. So are after the 10th Women are more likely to be affected than men. However, the symptoms are no different.

What are the symptoms?

However, the symptoms can vary in severity for each individual. Some people have occasional flare-ups of eczema symptoms, while others suffer from the symptoms almost constantly. Depending on the severity and localization of the symptoms, neurodermatitis can affect the quality of life to varying degrees. Treatment can help control symptoms. In many people, the condition improves by adulthood, but for some it can last for life. Symptoms can be controlled with a combination of medications, skin care products, and avoiding triggers. Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce the severity of symptoms and allow for a better quality of life.

What causes neurodermatitis?

The causes of eczema are not fully understood, but a combination of genetic and environmental conditions is thought to be important. A crucial role is a disturbed barrier function of the skin and the genetically determined tendency of the immune system to react excessively to harmless environmental stimuli. In addition to heredity, allergies are also known risk factors. About two-thirds of those affected have an allergic form of the disease. They often have more severe symptoms, often hay fever or allergic asthma. Possible factors that can also contribute to neurodermatitis are loss of moisture in the skin, metabolic disorders, stress and other psychological stress. In fact, the disease and its symptoms are interrelated with mental health. Stress can aggravate neurodermatitis, but on the other hand, the symptoms and especially the nocturnal itching are mentally stressful. It is important to note that each person may react differently to the triggers.

Atopic diseases include atopic dermatitis, along with food allergies, allergic asthma and allergic rhinitis.

Atopic diseases are a group of chronic diseases that are caused by an overactive reaction of the immune system to certain stimuli or allergens.

Why the intestines can also be the trigger

Besides the causes mentioned above, it has also been found that the development of neurodermatitis is not only related to the skin microbiome, but also to the intestinal microbiome. For example, studies have shown that children who had low bacterial diversity in their gut were more likely to develop eczema. This proven connection between the gut and neurodermatitis is known as the "gut-skin axis". It has been shown that a healthy intestinal flora and an intact intestinal barrier are important for the regulation of the immune system and the prevention of inflammation. A disturbed intestinal flora and a damaged intestinal barrier can increase the risk of neurodermatitis. It is assumed that certain microorganisms in the gut are underrepresented in neurodermatitis patients compared to healthy people, while others may be over-represented.

How neurodermatitis changes the skin microbiome

The skin is the largest organ in the human body and has many important functions, including protection, regulating body temperature, receiving sensory input, and secreting sweat. The skin microbiome refers to the totality of all microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi and viruses, that live on the skin of a human or animal. These microbes live in a dynamic ecosystem on the skin and play an important role in regulating skin health and the protective mechanism against harmful microbes. A balance in the skin microbiome is crucial for healthy skin, while changing the microbial population on the skin can lead to skin problems such as eczema or infections. In some skin diseases, this balance can be disturbed, causing inflammation and eczema to flare up. For example, in neurodermatitis there are more Staphylococcus aureus compared to healthy skin.

Deep Dive: Bacteria strain Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus aureus is a common pathogen that occurs in the layers of the skin and can play a role in the development of neurodermatitis. Studies have shown that people with neurodermatitis have a higher number of Staphylococcus aureus on their skin than healthy people. Staphylococcus aureus can cause inflammation and disrupt skin barrier function, which can contribute to worsening eczema symptoms. In some cases, treatment of Staphylococcus aureus can improve neurodermatitis symptoms. However, it is important to note that not all people with eczema have Staph aureusinfection, and that there are other factors involved in causing it and the course of atopic dermatitis, including genetic factors, environmental exposure and a disrupted gut-skin axis.

New solution: A healthy intestinal flora

An unhealthy diet high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods can lead to dysbiosis (disorder of the microbiome) in the intestine and thus also influence the occurrence of neurodermatitis.

A balanced diet rich in fiber, fresh fruit and vegetables can improve the gut microbiome and help reduce eczema. The latest studies also show that probiotic supplements can support the gut microbiome. In this way, probiotics help to improve the intestinal environment, balance immune reactions and regulate metabolic activity.

In this context, we developed our Dermabacs - a synbiotic that can also have a targeted effect against neurodermatitis. Would you like to find out more? Then click here and discover Dermabacs!



  • Langan SM, Irvine AD, Weidinger S. Atopic dermatitis. Lancet 2020; 396(10247): 345-360.
  • Uwe Wollina (2017) Microbiome in atopic dermatitis, Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, 10:, 51-56, DOI: 10.2147/CCID.S130013
  • Catch, Z., Li, L, Zhang, H., Zhao, J., Lu, W., & Chen, W. (2021). Gut Microbiota, Probiotics, and Their Interactions in Prevention and Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis: A Review. Frontiers in Immunology, 12.
  • Williams HC, Chalmers J. Prevention of Atopic Dermatitis. Acta Derm Venereol 2020; 100(12): adv00166.
  • Barmer GEK. BARMER analysis - Children and women in particular suffer from neurodermatitis. 2020

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