Diagnosing Eczema

How can I tell if I have eczema?
The best way to find out if you have eczema is to see a dermatologist. There are several types of eczema, and other skin conditions can resemble eczema. It takes experience to accurately diagnose these conditions. Without an accurate diagnosis, treatment often is ineffective.

If a dermatologist suspects a patient has eczema, the doctor will:

  • Visually examine the patientís skin

  • Obtain the patientís medical history if one is not already on file

  • Ask questions, such as when the condition first appeared

This may be all the trained eye of a dermatologist needs to diagnose eczema. If a dermatologist believes the condition is a type of eczema known as allergic contact dermatitis, a safe and effective test called patch testing may be ordered. This test can help identify what is causing the allergy. Occasionally, after looking at the patientís medical history and skin, other tests may be ordered.

All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology

Medications and Other Therapies for Eczema
An effective treatment plan often combines therapies.





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Page last updated 4/3/07

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