A Patient's Guide to Eczema
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Diagnosing Eczema

Features Important In Making A Diagnosis Of Eczema:

  1. Itching
  2. Dryness of the skin
  3. Skin Inflammation
  4. Secondary infection of the skin
  5. Frequent flare-ups of eczema activity
  6. Family history of eczema, hay fever or asthma

A UK working party in 1994 refined Hanafin and Rajka’s previous diagnostic criteria and developed ones based on a validated set of epidemiological data. They suggested the following:

Eczema is an itchy skin condition ... plus three or more of the following features:

  • Involvement of skin in front of the elbows, behind the knees, the side of the neck or on the cheeks of children
  • Personal history of asthma or hay fever, a history of atopic disease in first degree relatives in those under the age of 4 years
  • General dry skin in the previous year
  • Eczema present in the folds of skin in front or the elbows or behind the knees of on the face or outer aspects of the limbs in the under 4 year olds
  • Eczema starting before the age of 2 years

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