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Eczema Tests and Diagnosis

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If you have a skin disorder carefully look at the affected areas of the skin, you need to see if your skin:

  • Has a rash that is itchy
  • Is dry and coupled with a scaly or red rash
  • Has a rash that has developed in the past
  • Is thicker in that area compared to the rest of the skin in the body

If you are positive to any of these conditions, then you may need to see a skin specialist, preferably a dermatologist, allergist or immunologist who can identify and properly diagnose your skin with eczema and afterwards chart a plan of treatment for it. The doctor or specialist can get your medical and family history and recommend certain diagnostic tests, if necessary, for you. Thee tests may be:

  • A thorough medical history
  • Allergy tests
  • Skin biopsy and blood tests

Medical history

A well studied medical history of yourself is the most essential and effective method for diagnosing eczema. Your doctor/skin specialist will query you a number of questions to know the frequency of your rash, where it typically appears and when it appears. Questions about your itching as well as other attributes of your skin condition will also be asked. Certain questions about potential triggers: climate changes, inhaled allergens or foods and other things found in your work and home that can trigger eczema flare ups will also be asked.

Writing down all possible information regarding your skin condition before your doctor’s appointment will come in very handy because a lot of people tend to forget information when they are in the doctor’s office and these information are very important in helping the doctor come up with an accurate diagnosis

Allergy challenge tests

If your medical history indicates that you have eczema, the doctor can then recommend certain tests. These tests will see if there are certain things in your food and/or surroundings that trigger or worsen your eczema. Knowing then these triggers will help you avoid these triggers.

If your eczema flare up is suspected to be triggered by a food allergen, the specialist can perform a food challenge.  This is termed a challenge because you are “challenged” by eating certain foods suspected to be allergens in progressively increasing amounts. During this time, you are closely monitored and observed for any allergic response.

Blood and skin tests

Specific tests can reinforce the eczema diagnosis or reveal additional health problems that are likely the ones causing the symptoms instead. These tests may be:

  • Buccal swabs – The sides of your mouth are swabbed using a cotton swab to get specimens to identify for changes in the Filaggrin gene.
  • Patch testing – This procedure entails utilizing small patches laced with allergenic substances and placed on the skin for two days. Afterwards, the patches are removed and the affected skin is analyzed for 3 or 4 days. A patch test can recognize contact allergy to certain chemicals like rubber, lanolin, metals and fragrances among others.
  • Allergy skin testing – This test uses a prick skin procedure to see if you are sensitive to various kinds of allergens.
  • Skin biopsy – This test is done to exclude other skin diseases like psoriasis or low grade skin cancer. In this procedure the doctor locally anesthetizes the skin and later on extracts a few small pieces of skin. The skin is then analyzed by a pathologist using a microscope to detect allergens or pathogens.
  • Blood tests – A small blood sample is extracted using a hypodermic needle in the arm. One specific blood test detects for spiked levels of eosinophils. Another type of blood test detects for enhanced rates of IgE antibody. This antibody rises in level when a person has dermatitis and other kinds of atopic diseases.  The allergen-specific IgE test appraises the levels of this antibody that can identify a specific allergen.

Jacksonville Acupuncture Clinic
8855 San Jose Blvd
Jacksonville , FL 32217
Phone: (904) 260-2598

Written by Valerie

January 5th, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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