You'll probably first bring your concerns to the attention of your family doctor. He or she might refer you to a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions (dermatologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment and know what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
Before your appointment, you might want to write a list of answers to the following questions:
- What are your symptoms, and when did they start?
- Does anything seem to trigger your symptoms?
- What medications are you currently taking, including those you take by mouth as well as creams or ointments that you apply to your skin?
- Do you have a family history of allergies or asthma?
- What treatments have you tried so far? Have any treatments helped?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to talk about in-depth. Depending on what type of dermatitis you have, your doctor may ask:
Jan. 02, 2015
- Do your symptoms come and go, or are they fairly constant?
- How often do you shower or bathe?
- What products do you use on your skin, including soaps, lotions and cosmetics?
- What household cleaning products do you use?
- Are you exposed to any possible irritants from your job or hobbies?
- Have you been under any unusual stress or depressed lately?
- How much do your symptoms affect your quality of life, including your ability to sleep?
- Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookId=682. Accessed March 24, 2014.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookid=392. Accessed March 24, 2014.
- Eichenfield LF, et al. Guidelines of care for the management of atopic dermatitis: Section 1. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2014;70:338.
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- Pride HB, et al. What's new in pediatric dermatology? Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2013;68:899.e1.
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- Atopic dermatitis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disorders. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Atopic_Dermatitis/default.asp. Accessed Sept. 17, 2014.
- Wong S, et al. Efficacy and safety of sodium hypochlorite (bleach) baths in patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis in Malaysia. Journal of Dermatology. 2013;40:874.
- Ibler KS, et al. Hand eczema: Prevalence and risk factors of hand eczema in a population of 2,274 health care workers. Contact Dermatitis. 2012;67:200.
- Rakel D. Integrative Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 7, 2014.
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- Diphenhydramine. MedlinePlus. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a682539.html. Accessed Nov. 17, 2014.
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