Typical symptoms of neurodermatitis in babies | You can recognize neurodermatitis by these symptoms

Typical symptoms of neurodermatitis in babies

Even babies and small babies can already be affected by neurodermatitis. Especially children whose mother or father are neurodermatitis sufferers have an increased risk of the disease. At this age neurodermatitis typically manifests itself first with the appearance of milk crust.

These are yellow-brown crusts which form mainly on the scalp. Later, usually when the children are older than three months, weeping eczema and papules develop on the cheeks and trunk. The skin changes itch very badly and the baby tries to relieve the itching by scratching.

Scratching, however, creates a vicious circle: scratching damages the skin even further and, paradoxically, the body releases an increased amount of messenger substances (histamines) that promote itching. Due to the constant, tormenting itching, the baby cannot sleep properly and cries a lot – a test of strength for parents and child. In older children from the age of two, the backs of the hands, bends (elbows, hollow of the knee) and body folds are particularly affected by the skin changes.

The skin tends to thicken over the entire surface (lichenification). Reddened skin areas, scaly and dry skin and constant scratching can all be indications of the presence of neurodermatitis. In such cases, parents should visit a paediatrician with their baby and have the symptoms clarified.

Milk crust is characteristically the first symptom of neurodermatitis in babies and forms within the first three months of life. Milk crust can either heal spontaneously on its own or become chronic in the form of neurodermatitis. The name “milk crust” comes from the fact that the colour resembles burnt milk.

The yellowish-brownish crusts form preferentially on the face and the hairy scalp of the child. The bends of the arms and legs can also be affected by milk crust. A typical accompanying symptom of milk crust is severe itching, which can severely impair the baby’s well-being.

The crusts should not be removed, as this increases the risk of the small skin lesions becoming infected. But cradle cap is not always an indication of neurodermatitis. In many cases there is also another, harmless cause behind it, for example excessive sebum formation on the scalp (head gneiss). Head gneiss looks very similar to milk crust and both symptoms can hardly be distinguished by a layperson. A paediatrician can diagnose milk crust and treat the annoying itching with soothing ointments and creams.

Typical symptoms of neurodermatitis in an adult

The symptoms of neurodermatitis are very varied and change in the course of life, whereby the severity of the disease usually decreases with age. In many cases, the symptoms end before puberty and the affected persons no longer have any complaints. Nevertheless, new relapses can occur from time to time.

Furthermore, it is also possible that neurodermatitis only appears in adulthood. Among the symptoms of neurodermatitis in an adult person are the typical inflammatory skin changes, which are usually much less pronounced than in children. The eczema classically develops mainly in the face around the eyes and mouth.

Eczema also occurs on the neck and in the neck region. The skin is also inflamed at the elbow bends, the hollows of the knees and on the hands. In general, however, any part of the body can be affected by the eczema.

The inflamed skin areas are reddened, dry and can be very itchy. The skin also tends to thicken (lichenification). Other symptoms are papules and small nodules.