Getting a sense of how severe your atopic dermatitis is can be helpful for doctors. But it can be a difficult thing to judge on your own. Don't worry though – that's where your dermatologist can help.
Dermatologists split AD into three categories of severity: mild, moderate, and severe.
The severity of your AD can be measured in different ways, including how widespread your lesions are, where they're located, how intense your itch is, and how much the condition impacts your quality of life.1,2
As your symptoms change, so can your treatment needs. That's why it's important to keep an eye on your symptoms and discuss any changes with your dermatologist.
It's entirely possible that you won't be having a flare-up during your doctor's appointment. In fact, you might be feeling okay. But it's important to give your dermatologist a true picture of your symptoms. Here are some questions to consider:
Answering these will help your doctor understand the real severity of your AD, which can help ensure they're managing your condition in the most effective way.
Take pictures of your flares when they happen. That way, you can show your doctor exactly what your symptoms look like in your next appointment.
Use the Atopic Dermatitis Control Tool. This is a recognised way for dermatologists to assess how controlled or uncontrolled your AD is. Once you've completed the test (six questions), you can show the result to your dermatologist, who may use it to guide their next treatment decision.
Boguniewicz M et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2017; 5: 1519–1531.
Motswaledi MH. S Afr Fam Pract 2012; 54(5): 411—412.
Abuabara K et al. Dermatol Clin 2017; 35(3): 291–297.