Getting to know your eczema
Everyone’s experience with eczema varies, and your doctor will evaluate it based on several factors in order to determine an appropriate treatment plan.
Not all days with eczema are created equal
The truth is, eczema symptoms can present themselves very differently from day to day.
For some, this may come in the form of consistent symptoms and for others the symptoms may be more unpredictable. You can begin to monitor the full impact of eczema on your life by tracking all the symptoms and the way they impact you over time.
Your doctor will consider the following factors when evaluating your overall eczema experience:
While for most people itching is simply annoying, eczema sufferers may experience itching all day, every day (and often through the night). In order to better understand your eczema, your doctor may ask you to rate your worst, most intense itch during the past day from “0” (no itch) to “10” (worst imaginable itch)—this is called the Peak Pruritus Numerical Rating Scale (NRS). Telling your doctor about your daily itch experiences, not just flare-ups, may also help. Learn more about the
Your doctor will take into consideration how much of your skin is covered by eczema. Whether your chronic eczema appears in multiple locations on your body or just one location, be sure to point out each area to your doctor, as the amount of skin covered by eczema plays a role in your doctor’s evaluation.
In addition to the total amount of skin covered by eczema, the location of your symptoms plays a large role in how a doctor evaluates your severity. In general, the more visible or sensitive the location, the larger the role. For example, your doctor may consider a small patch of
more severe if it impacts your life more than a larger patch of
Eczema’s symptoms may impact your sleep, job, social life, and stress level. It's important to recognize and tell your doctor if you’ve had to make modifications—big or small—because of your eczema, since it might be impacting your quality of life.
Knowing what has or hasn't worked for you in the past may also help your doctor determine the severity of your eczema and the best plan moving forward.