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Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) - When To Call a Doctor

Call your doctor if you or your child has atopic dermatitis and:

  • Itching makes you or your child irritable.
  • Itching is interfering with daily activities or with sleep.
  • There are crusting or oozing sores, severe scratch marks, widespread rash, severe discoloration of the skin, or a fever that is accompanied by a rash.
  • Painful cracks form on the hands or fingers.
  • Atopic dermatitis on the hands interferes with daily school, work, or home activities.
  • Signs of bacterial infection develop. These include:
    • Increased pain, swelling, redness, tenderness, or heat.
    • Red streaks extending from the area.
    • A discharge of pus.
    • A fever of 100.4 °F (38 °C) or higher with no other cause.

Who to see

For the diagnosis and treatment of atopic dermatitis, consult with a:

If food or other allergies are suspected to be a factor in atopic dermatitis, you can see an allergist (immunologist) for specialized evaluation. For more information, see the topic Food Allergies.

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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