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Scaly skin Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Scaly 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 scaly skin?

    Why: to determine if acute or chronic.

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

    Why: may assist in helping determine the cause e.g. scaliness between the toes may suggest athlete's foot (fungal infection); 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 atopic dermatitis (eczema); on scalp may suggest psoriasis vulgaris.

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

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

  5. Have you worn any new clothing recently?

    Why: may suggest atopic dermatitis.

  6. Have you been exposed to anything new lately?

    Why: e.g. cosmetics, soaps, clothes detergent, foods - may suggest atopic dermatitis (eczema) or contact dermatitis.

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

    Why: may suggest atopic dermatitis (eczema) or psoriasis.

  8. 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.

  9. Past medical history?

    Why: some medical conditions are associated with thickened scaly skin patches including polycystic kidney disease, hypothyroidism (myxoedema), scleroderma, peripheral vascular disease, acromegaly, anorexia nervosa and discoid lupus erythematosus; cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, nephrotic syndrome and cirrhosis of the liver may cause Vitamin A deficiency and rough scaly skin.

  10. Medication?

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

  11. Family history of skin problems?

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

  12. Dietary history?

    Why: Vitamin A deficiency may cause rough scaly 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; Pellagra is deficiency in niacin and causes diarrhea, dementia and dermatitis (scaly red thickened skin). It is now rare and found only in people who virtually only eat maize (e.g. in parts of Africa).

  13. Itchy skin?

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

  14. Nails affected?

    Why: may suggest psoriasis or tinea Nails affected? - may suggest psoriasis or tinea.

  15. Symptoms of atopic dermatitis (eczema)?

    Why: e.g. itchy, red, dry, scaling, cracked skin. The typical distribution changes as the person grows older. In infants the rash is usually on the cheeks of the face, the folds of the neck and scalp. It may then spread to the limbs and groin. During childhood a drier ad thicker rash develops in front of the elbow, behind the knees and on the hands and feet, which may be dry, itchy, cracked and painful. Rarely does eczema have an adult onset.

  16. Symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis?

    Why: e.g. may range from faint redness to severe swelling, symptoms are often worse in area around the eyes, genitals and on hairy skin, symptoms are least on hairless skin such as palms and soles. Allergic contact dermatitis is usually confined to the site of exposure to the allergen.

  17. Symptoms of psoriasis?

    Why: e.g. red lesions that enlarge and develop a silvery scale. The commonest sites are the backs of the elbows and knees, then the scalp, sacral areas, genital and nails.

  18. Symptoms of hypothyroidism?

    Why: e.g. husky voice, tiredness, weight gain, constipation, cold intolerance, loss of hair, puffiness of face and eyes, and cool dry thickened skin.

  19. 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.

  20. 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 scaly skin.

  21. Symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency?

    Why: e.g. night blindness is the earliest symptoms of vitamin A deficiency. Later symptoms include dry eyes, eye pain (due to ulcer formation) and blindness. May also have rough scaly skin.

  22. Symptoms of scleroderma?

    Why: e.g. difficulty with swallowing, heartburn, hand swelling and/or thickening and tightening of the skin of the fingers, Raynaud's phenomenon.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Scaly skin:

The following list of conditions have 'Scaly 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 Scaly skin or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Scaly skin:

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


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