What are the diagnostic criteria for atopic dermatitis (eczema)?

Updated: Aug 02, 2019
  • Author: Brian S Kim, MD, MTR, FAAD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Until Hanifin and Rajka [43] developed diagnostic criteria for the diagnosis of AD in 1980, no standardized methods were available to make the diagnosis. Since then, numerous other experts have developed different criteria suitable for their own environment, and varying with age. The original criteria of Hanifin and Rajka have been modified many times. Efforts to develop practical clinical criteria have not been successful, and those available are not suitable for all geographic areas and age groups. The lack of a good biomarker for diagnosing the disease is an enormous obstacle to the study of AD.

Exclusionary conditions (conditions that should be excluded) are as follows:

  • Scabies
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Ichthyoses
  • Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
  • Psoriasis
  • Photosensitivity dermatoses
  • Immune deficiency diseases
  • Erythroderma of other causes

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