Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center - Health Library

Talking to Your Doctor About Eczema

You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with atopic dermatitis. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

General Tips for Gathering Information

Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.

Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor

About Atopic Dermatitis/Eczema

  • Why do I have atopic dermatitis?
  • What caused the condition?
  • Does atopic dermatitis have anything to do with my hay fever, asthma, or allergies?
  • Am I doing anything that makes it worse?
  • Does stress play a role in atopic dermatitis?

About Your Risk of Developing Eczema

  • Based on my symptoms and family and medical history, am I at risk for developing atopic dermatitis?
  • Are my children at risk for developing atopic dermatitis?

About Treatment Options

  • What treatment options are available to me?
  • How much improvement can I expect from this treatment?
  • What side effects should I watch for?
  • What can I do to alleviate the itching (or other symptoms)?
  • How will we know if the treatment is working?
  • How will we know if I need to consult with another or a different specialist?

About Lifestyle Changes

  • What type of lifestyle changes should I make to prevent another atopic dermatitis outbreak?
  • Will I still be able to exercise? Are there any precautions I should take during exercise?

About Outlook

  • What is the prognosis of my case? What can I expect in the future?
  • Is it likely that atopic dermatitis will recur?
  • Will it get worse?
REFERENCES:

Atopic dermatitis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115212/Atopic-dermatitis. Updated July 3, 2017. Accessed December 21, 2017.

Tips for talking to your doctor. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor. Updated May 2014. Accessed December 21, 2017.

Last reviewed December 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods MD, FAAP  Last Updated: 12/20/2014