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Neurodermatitis

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Neurodermatitis can mean:

  • Lichen simplex chronicus and its cousin, prurigo nodularis; these are types of eczema that are thought to be self-caused, or have unexplained origin, and are mostly localized; the older term was “localized or circumscribed neurodermatitis."
  • Other types of "lichens" such as lichen striatus (aka linear neurodermatitis), which are part of the pruritic dermatoses spectrum.
  • Atopic dermatitis – also known as childhood eczema; this usage is still common in parts of Europe; the older term was “disseminated neurodermatitis.”

There are still references in the older literature to the psychosomatic nature of these disorders, and their accompanying "psychogenic" itch. This is why the older terms had "neuro" in them: as a reference to the link with mental illness. There continues to be a suspicion of obsessive-compulsive behaviors leading to some forms of dermatitis.

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