Diagnosing discoid eczema 

As discoid eczema causes distinctive symptoms, your GP should be able to make a diagnosis by examining the affected areas of skin.

In some cases your GP may also ask questions or arrange some tests to rule out other conditions.

Possible tests include: 

  • a swab test to check for infection – a swab is wiped over your skin and tested for bacteria that may cause an infection
  • examining the flakes of skin – a small piece of skin is removed and examined under a microscope to check for a fungal skin infection, such as ringworm, which can have similar symptoms to discoid eczema
  • patch testing may be used in rare cases to rule out contact dermatitis – small amounts of different substances are applied to your skin to see if they cause a reaction

Patch tests are usually negative in people with discoid eczema.

Your GP may refer you to a dermatologist (a doctor who specialises in managing skin conditions) if they are unsure of the diagnosis or if you need patch testing. 

Read more about allergy testing

Page last reviewed: 22/10/2014

Next review due: 22/10/2016