No laboratory tests are needed to identify atopic dermatitis (eczema). Your doctor is likely to make a diagnosis by examining your skin and reviewing your medical history. You can also use patch tests or other tests to rule out other skin conditions or identify conditions that accompany eczema. Your doctor does not need any type of laboratory test to identify eczema.
A skin examination and a review of the medical history should be sufficient. If your doctor isn’t sure if eczema is the cause of your skin problem, you may have some tests to rule out or diagnose a different problem, such as allergies. Doctors use skin patches or skin prick tests, for example, to see if certain allergic triggers cause a skin reaction. You may also need tests to identify conditions that accompany eczema.
Learn how visiting a dermatologist can help diagnose atopic dermatitis. Since eczema and atopic dermatitis are skin conditions, it makes sense for any care team to include a dermatologist. According to the AAD, a dermatologist can help you develop a skin care plan to prevent breakouts and reduce symptoms when they appear. This plan may include recommendations for skin and home care products that are suitable for eczema, prescription or over-the-counter treatments for severe eczema and atopic dermatitis, and tips for avoiding triggers.
During a skin biopsy, the dermatologist will numb the area and then remove a very small piece of skin from the affected area. The sample will be sent to a dermatology laboratory for analysis. A skin biopsy may be used to help diagnose eczema caused by allergies or as a reaction to medication. The diagnosis of atopic dermatitis is reinforced by evidence of extreme skin dryness, symptoms that appear early in life (usually in the first year), and personal or family history of allergic reactions and immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to allergens.
A skin exam along with information about your health and symptoms may be all that is needed to diagnose AD. While medical history is of paramount importance, additional tests can help support the diagnosis of atopic dermatitis or identify other conditions that may be causing symptoms instead. It is essential to receive a diagnosis of atopic dermatitis from a dermatologist, who can tell you which of the many different types of eczema you have. Knowing if someone else in your family has been diagnosed with eczema or dermatitis can help doctors better understand your diagnosis.
Treatment can ease your symptoms and help you live more comfortably if you are diagnosed with atopic dermatitis. This procedure, called a biopsy, is usually only necessary if doctors have not been able to diagnose your condition during a physical exam or patch test. Because a dermatologist specializes in skin conditions, he can provide specific help for eczema with diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care. This is because many people have difficulty remembering information unexpectedly in the doctor’s office, and accurate answers are key to a diagnosis of eczema.
In fact, the diagnosis of this skin condition requires careful and multifaceted investigation of the signs and symptoms. According to the American Academy of Dermatology’s diagnostic guidelines, there are some essential features that must be present for someone to be diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, specifically severe itching (pruritus) and eczematous lesions that are acute, subacute, or chronic. If dermatologists suspect that allergic dermatitis is causing the rash, a patch test is the most effective diagnostic tool. Redness with raised skin or a rash at the site of any of the allergens tested may help the dermatologist determine the source of the allergic reaction and confirm a diagnosis of allergic dermatitis.
There are different types of eczema and several skin conditions can mimic eczema, so proper diagnosis is important to receive effective treatment. .