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:
July 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.
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- 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.
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- 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.