Currently, there is no specific test for atopic dermatitis, and no single symptom or feature can be used to identify the disease. The diagnosis is based on your medical history and the physical exam. Each patient has a unique combination of symptoms and rash appearance. The symptoms and severity may vary over time.
Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, family history of allergies, your symptoms, and possible exposure to allergens and irritants. Your skin will also be examined for characteristic signs of atopic dermatitis.
Your doctor may be able to make a diagnosis based on your medical exam. There are criteria to help make the diagnosis and assess severity.
Some tests may be performed to confirm the diagnosis, to check for similar skin conditions, or to look for health problems frequently associated with atopic dermatitis (such as asthma or hayfever). These tests may include:
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Eczema. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/skin/eczema_atopic_dermatitis.html#. Updated June 2015 . Accessed December 21, 2017.
Eczema. National Eczema Association website. Available at: http://nationaleczema.org/eczema. Accessed December 21, 2017.
Eczema and Atopic Dermatitis\. Family Doctor website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/eczema-and-atopic-dermatitis/?adfree=true. Updated June 2017. Accessed December 20, 2017.
Plötz S, Wiesender M, et al. What is new in atopic dermatitis/eczema? Expert Opin Emerg Drugs. 2014 Dec;19(4):441-58.
Understanding Your Child’s Eczema. National Eczema Association website. Available at: https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/children/. Accessed December 21, 2017.
Last reviewed November 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods MD FAAP Last Updated: 12/20/2014