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Dry skin Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Dry skin. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. How long have you had dry skin?

    Why: to determine if acute or chronic.

  2. Is the dryness of the skin localized or generalized?
  3. If dryness of the skin is localized, where on the body is the skin dry?

    Why: may assist in helping determine cause e.g. dryness between the toes may suggest athlete's foot; dry scaly cracked skin on legs of elderly especially in winter suggest asteatotic eczema; on heels suggest keratoderma climactericum; hands and wrists may suggest scabies; in flexures such as front of elbow and behind knee suggest dermatitis; on scalp may suggest psoriasis vulgaris.

  4. Is there a simple reason for your dry skin?

    Why: e.g. use of rubbing alcohol, certain chemicals and cleaning products, low humidity, home heating, windy conditions, hot dry weather conditions, air travel (because the air in planes is dry), air-conditioning (air conditioners remove moisture from the air).

  5. Fluid intake?

    Why: may suggest inadequate intake of fluid and dehydration as cause of dry skin e.g. poor fluid intake due to illness, anorexia, malnutrition or neglect.

  6. Have you had contact with another person with a similar skin eruption?

    Why: may suggest scabies, tinea or other fungal skin infection.

  7. Have you worn any new clothing recently?
  8. Have you been exposed to anything new lately?

    Why: e.g. cosmetics, soaps, clothes detergent, foods.

  9. Do you have a past history of a similar skin eruption?

    Why: may suggest atopic dermatitis (eczema).

  10. Do you have an allergic tendency?

    Why: e.g. asthma, hay fever - may suggest atopic dermatitis (eczema), ichthyosis is also commonly associated with allergic tendencies such as eczema, allergic rhinitis and asthma.

  11. Recent heat or sun exposure?

    Why: may suggest heat stroke or sunstroke as source of dehydration due to sweating or direct UV exposure to skin.

  12. Are you pregnant?

    Why: some level of dry skin can occur in pregnancy.

  13. Past medical history?

    Why: e.g. Rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, primary biliary cirrhosis, diabetes insipidus, Raynaud's phenomenon, systemic sclerosis, chronic active hepatitis and vasculitis may all be associated with Sjogren's syndrome; Type 2 Diabetes, hypothyroidism, anorexia nervosa, chronic renal failure, HIV and Acromegaly may cause dry skin.

  14. Medication?

    Why: e.g. diuretics may predispose to asteatotic eczema; isotretinoin for severe acne may cause dry skin.

  15. Family history of skin problems?

    Why: e.g. atopic dermatitis (eczema), ichthyosis.

  16. Dietary history?

    Why: Vitamin A deficiency states may cause dry skin; dietary deficiency of Vitamin A is often due to failure to incorporate green leafy vegetables into the diet usually exclusively in developing countries and may also cause night blindness and dry eyes.

  17. Itchy skin?

    Why: may suggest asteatotic eczema, tinea, scabies, dyshidrotic eczematous dermatitis (pompholyx), atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, lichen sclerosis, ichthyosis.

  18. Symptoms of dehydration ?

    Why: e.g. thirst, postural dizziness, fainting and reduced urine output - may cause dry skin.

  19. Symptoms that may cause dehydration?

    Why: e.g. vomiting, diarrhea, fever, excessive urination, gastrointestinal bleeding.

  20. Symptoms of Primary Sjogren's syndrome?

    Why: e.g. dry eyes, dryness of the mouth, dryness of the nasal passages, skin or vagina. This syndrome may be associated with many systemic conditions such as Raynaud's phenomenon, Rheumatoid arthritis, difficulty in swallowing (as seen in systemic sclerosis), painful joints (like that seen with systemic lupus erythematosus), thyroid disease, myasthenia gravis, primary biliary cirrhosis, chronic active hepatitis, renal diabetes insipidus, renal tubular acidosis and vasculitis.

  21. Symptoms of diabetes mellitus

    Why: e.g. frequent urination, excessive thirst, weight loss, fatigue - dry skin may be present in uncontrolled or undiagnosed diabetes mellitus due to excessive urination.

  22. Symptoms of hypothyroidism?

    Why: e.g. husky voice, tiredness, weight gain, constipation, cold intolerance, loss of hair - Hypothyroidism may also present with depression.

  23. Symptoms of anorexia nervosa?

    Why: e.g. refusal to maintain normal body weight, loss of more than 25% of original body weight, intense fear of becoming fat, preoccupation with calorie counting, avoidance of all carbohydrate, fainting. May also have dry scaly skin and increased soft downy body hair.

  24. Symptoms of Acromegaly?

    Why: e.g. tiredness, weakness, increased sweating, heat intolerance, weight gain, enlarging hands and feet, enlarged facial features, headaches, decreased vision, voice change and dry coarse skin.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Dry skin:

The following list of conditions have 'Dry skin' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Dry skin or choose View All.

View All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W X

Conditions listing medical complications: Dry skin:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Dry skin' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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