The chronic skin condition called eczema affects one out of every ten Americans. In its more severe conditions, it can cause inflamed, itchy, scaly and sometimes painful rashes. However, the criteria for diagnosing eczema isn’t specific, leading to a misdiagnosis that could harm patients.
How does misdiagnosis of eczema occur?
Doctors have no definitive text for diagnosing eczema, which is why it can result in medical malpractice in more severe cases. The condition can start before age five in children but can also develop in adulthood. Doctors usually assess your symptoms and examine your family history to determine if eczema is an appropriate diagnosis.
Sometimes, a misdiagnosis occurs because you have another skin condition along with eczema. At other times, eczema symptoms frequently mimic those of other skin conditions. Either way, if you are misdiagnosed, you won’t get the proper treatment. Skin problems that are similar to eczema are:
- Ringworm, which is a fungal condition
- Psoriasis, a less itchy condition resulting in more plaques
- Scabies, caused by microscopic mites
- Seborrheic dermatitis, a dandruff-causing inflammatory condition
- Mycosis Fungoides, a type of cancer that grows slowly
Eczema treatments that don’t seem to work could indicate misdiagnosis. While some misdiagnoses are mere nuisances, others involving scabies or Mycosis Fungoides could put you or others at risk.
Medical negligence has become an epidemic
Misdiagnoses can occur for various reasons. However, all are a form of medical negligence. More than one-third of American patients have received improper treatment, wrong medication or delayed test results. While some medical negligence is more severe than others, all have the potential to qualify for an injury claim.
Gather as much evidence as possible if you believe you or a loved one are a victim of medical negligence. You may be able to file a lawsuit against your medical provider.