You're likely to start by seeing your family or primary care doctor. But in some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred to a specialist in skin diseases (dermatologist).
It's good to prepare for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready.
What you can do
- List your signs and symptoms, when they occurred and how long they lasted. Also, it may help to list factors that triggered or worsened your symptoms — such as soaps or detergents, tobacco smoke, sweating, or long, hot showers.
- Make a list of all the medications, vitamins, supplements and herbs you're taking. Even better, take the original bottles and a written list of the dosages and directions.
- List questions to ask your doctor. Ask questions when you want something clarified.
For atopic dermatitis, some basic questions you might ask your doctor include:
- What might be causing my signs and symptoms?
- Are tests needed to confirm the diagnosis?
- What treatment do you recommend, if any?
- Is this condition temporary or chronic?
- Can I wait to see if the condition goes away on its own?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
- What skin care routines do you recommend to improve my symptoms?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you several questions, including:
Jul. 26, 2014
- When did you begin having symptoms?
- How often do you have these symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Do you or any family members have asthma or allergies?
- What products do you use on your skin?
- Does your condition affect your sleep or your ability to go about daily activities?
- AskMayoExpert. Atopic dermatitis (adult and pediatric). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Atopic dermatitis: Possible complications. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.skincarephysicians.com/eczemanet/complications.html. Accessed March 20, 2014.
- Allen HB, et al. The presence and impact of biofilm-producing Staphylococci in atopic dermatitis. JAMA Dermatology. 2014;150:260.
- Bamford JTM, et al. Oral evening primrose oil and borage oil for eczema (review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004416.pub2/abstract. 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://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=740. Accessed March 24, 2014.
- 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://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=45. Accessed March 24, 2014.
- Just AC, et al. Prenatal exposure to butylbenzyl phthalate and early eczema in an urban cohort. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2012;120:1475.
- Compalati E, et al. Evidences of efficacy of allergen immunotherapy in atopic dermatitis: An updated review. Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2014;12:427.
- Dabade TS, et al. Wet dressing therapy in conjunction with topical corticosteroids is effective for rapid control of severe pediatric atopic dermatitis: Experience with 218 patients over 30 years at Mayo Clinic. Journal of Academic Dermatology. 2012;67:100.
- Eichenfield LF, et al. Guidelines of care for the management of atopic dermatitis. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2014;70:339.
- Garritsen FM, et al. Photo(chemo)therapy in the management of atopic dermatitis: An updated systematic review with implications for practice and research. British Journal of Dermatology. 2014;107:501.
- Gibson LE. Atopic dermatitis. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2005;80:107.
- Hajar T, et al. Prehydration is effective for rapid control of recalcitrant atopic dermatitis. Dermatitis. 2014;25:56.
- 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.
- Jadotte YT, et al. Complementary and alternative medicine treatments for atopic eczema. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD010938/abstract. Accessed March 24, 2014.
- Kot M, et al. Contact hypersensitivity to haptens of the European standard series and corticosteroid series in the population of adolescents and adults with atopic dermatitis. Dermatitis. 2014;25:72.
- Lee KC, et al. Effectiveness of acupressure on pruritus and lichenification associated with atopic dermatitis: A pilot trial. Acupuncture Medicine. 2012;30:8.
- Eczema. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com/nd/Search.aspx?cs=MAYO&s=ND&pt=&sh=3&fs=ND&id=891&r=3&searchid=45742579&txt=eczema#selected. Accessed March 24, 2014.
- Pride HB, et al. What's new in pediatric dermatology. Part I. Diagnosis and pathogenesis. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2013;68:885e1.
- Pride HB, et al. What's new in pediatric dermatology. Part II. Treatment. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2013;68:899e1.
- Shekariah T, et al. Atopic dermatitis in children: A practical approach. Paediatrics and Child Health. 2011;21:112.
- Wolter S, et al. Atopic dermatitis. Pediatric Clinics of North America. 2014;61:241.
- 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.
- Weston, WL, et al. Treatment of atopic dermatitis (eczema). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 20, 2014.
- Weston WL, et al. Patient information: Atopic dermatitis (eczema) (Beyond the Basics). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 20, 2014.
- Lichen simplex chronicus. The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec10/ch114/ch114f.html. Accessed Feb. 10, 2014.
- Bleach baths. National Eczema Association. http://nationaleczema.org/eczema/treatment/alternative-therapies/bleach-baths. Accessed March 19, 2014.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 25, 2014.
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