Management of atopic eczema in primary care

Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network

Diagnosis and referral

Severity assessment and quality of life

  • When assessing the severity of atopic eczema, healthcare professionals should take into consideration the adverse effects on quality of life of patients and their families


  • An emergency referral to a dermatologist or paediatrician should be arranged by telephone where there is a clinical suspicion of eczema herpeticum (widespread herpes simplex)
  • Patients should be referred to a dermatologist where there is:
    • uncertainty concerning the diagnosis
    • poor control of the condition or failure to respond to appropriate topical treatments
    • psychological upset or sleep problems
    • recurrent secondary infection

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