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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How is eczema diagnosed?

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    Prof Rodney Sinclair

    Dermatologist (Skin Specialist)

    Professor Rodney Sinclair is Professor of Dermatology at the University of Melbourne and Director of Epworth Dermatology. He is past-president of the Australasian Society for … View Profile

    Eczema is usually diagnosed clinically. That means the dermatologist looks at the skin and makes a diagnosis. It's very uncommon that you need to do a skin biopsy to diagnose eczema. Occasionally, eczema can be caused by an allergic reaction, in which case patch testing can be done to try to establish the cause of the eczema.

  • 2

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    Dr Richard Beatty

    GP (General Practitioner)

    Brisbane GP With Special interest in Complex Medical, Men's health, antenatal, paediatrics. Skin Cancer Clinic Designated Aviation Medical Examiner Specific interests in Vasectomy, Dermatology & … View Profile

    The following is taken from a reputable international health website and describes well the diagnostic criteria for a diagnosis of “atopic eczema” which is the usual type of eczema.Typically, to be diagnosed with atopic eczema, you must have had an itchy skin condition in the last 12 months, as well as three or more of the signs and symptoms described below.

    • You have itchiness and irritation in the creases of your skin, such as the inside of your elbows, behind your knees, your ankles, around your neck or around your eyes.
    • You have or have had asthma or hayfever. For children less than four years old, they must have an immediate relative, such as a parent, brother or sister, who has asthma or hay fever.
    • Your skin has been generally dry in the last 12 months.
    • In children over four and adults, the condition started at the age of two or before.
    • There is eczema in the creases of your skin, or on the forehead, cheeks, arms or legs (in children under four years of age).

    So eczema is usually straightforward to diagnose and a trip to see your GP should be able to confirm your thoughts or otherwise steer you in the right direction.

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