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When to Seek Medical Care for Eczema
If twice daily applications of 0.5% or 1% hydrocortisone cream (available without a prescription) are insufficient to control the rash, then the individual should see a physician.
If someone is so uncomfortable that his/her sleep, work, or other daily activities are disrupted, he/she needs a more effective treatment and should see a health-care professional.
Generally, eczematous dermatitis is not an emergency and should not be handled in a hospital emergency department. Exceptions include the following:
A medical professional can usually identify the type of eczematous dermatitis by looking at the rash and asking questions about how it appeared. Samples of scale from the rash may need to be examined microscopically to search for a fungus. Occasionally, a portion of skin may be removed (a biopsy) to be examined by a pathologist, but this will not distinguish atopic dermatitis from allergic contact dermatitis.
The three key elements in identifying atopic dermatitis are
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/12/2015
Jeffrey John Meffert, MD
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