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By the Numbers: Diagnosis and HCPs

By the Numbers: Diagnosis and HCPs

Just over 400 individuals with atopic dermatitis (AD) completed the online AD In America 2018 survey. This survey gathered information about their symptoms and diagnosis journey, as well as their quality of life and treatment experience.


A diagnosis is made based on the symptoms an individual is currently experiencing or has previously experienced. AD has a variety of symptoms and not all symptoms affect each individual. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has created diagnostic guidelines to help doctors properly diagnose AD.

Age of diagnosis

36% of those surveyed were diagnosed before age 13.

Atopic dermatitis is most commonly diagnosed before the age of 5. It most commonly begins in infancy, between the ages of 3-6 months. As people age, some will experience remission, while most will have persistent disease into their 20’s or longer.

How many doctors were seen before diagnosis

2/3 of participants saw 2+ doctors before receiving a diagnosis.

A primary care physician (PCP) is usually the first point of contact in the diagnosis process. Your PCP may direct you to a dermatologist, as they can provide expertise in cases that may be difficult to diagnose or to treat, or are more moderate to severe.

Healthcare Professionals

There are a variety of doctors and other healthcare professionals that help to manage a person’s atopic dermatitis and its effects on quality of life. These healthcare professionals may be generalists or specialists in the field. Generalists are those who look at the patient as a whole. Specialists focus on one particular system or area, like a dermatologist.

Eczema warriors who are no longer seeing a doctor

Almost 1 in 4 participants no longer see an HCP for their atopic dermatitis.

In the atopic dermatitis community, there is some frustration with healthcare providers. Eczema warriors have shared a multitude of experiences with patient burnout and doctors not taking eczema seriously or providing alternatives. There is an overall desire to find an HCP who offers compassion, curiosity, and asks the right questions.

Eczema warriors and dermatologists

Over 1/2 of participants were diagnosed by a dermatologist and 44% continue to see one.

Finding the right healthcare professionals who understand and listen to their patients can go a long way in the journey of living with atopic dermatitis. Having a dermatologist understand and eczema warrior’s lifestyle and routine can make a world of difference for choosing treatment options that are best for the patient.

If you missed Part 1 of our 2018 By the Numbers, click here!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.