Finding a pediatric dermatologist for eczema is so important to helping your baby get relief from eczema. We share our best tips and pointers on how to find an eczema dermatologist for your baby.
One of the most important things you can do for your eczema baby is to find a good pediatric dermatologist.
Your pediatric dermatologist is going to be your go-to point person when it comes to answering eczema questions and coming up with an eczema routine. So it’s important that you find a good dermatologist who you like and you can work with (i.e., responsive!).
How to find a pediatric dermatologist
Our First Pediatric Dermatologist – on the NHS
(If you’re from the US, you can skip this section…) Since we’re based in the UK, we started on our baby’s eczema journey with the NHS (National Healthcare System). On the NHS, our GP referred us to a pediatric dermatologist.
We didn’t have a say on who would be our dermatologist. Instead, we were referred to the dermatology department at our local hospital.
If you are getting your baby’s eczema treatment on the NHS, in our experience, there isn’t much you can do in terms of which dermatologist you see for your baby’s eczema. You could get lucky and end up with a great dermatologist – one who has a thriving private practice, but is still putting in the time with the NHS. If you live near a good hospital, that does naturally increase your odds of having a good NHS dermatologist.
In our two and a half years, we have been attending the same hospital’s dermatology clinic. But we have been seen by 4 different dermatologists. Each time, they have to read through the file from the beginning. And then, the dermatologist reassesses everything from the start. Perhaps it’s nice to get a fresh set of eyes and new perspective, but….
It didn’t really work for us, because we felt that we lacked continuity of care.
Finding a private pediatric dermatologist for eczema
We eventually came around to ponying up to see a private doctor for our son’s eczema because we wanted a doctor who could get to know us, know our son, and know what was prescribed and why.
In short, we wanted consistency.
Think of it like your child’s school. You would want the same teacher educating your kid throughout the school year rather than having a new teacher every month.
We found our dermatologist through word of mouth and online research.
If you are able to find a recommendation for a dermatologist through word of mouth, that is probably the best bet. Here’s where I would start asking:
- Parents in your baby’s nursery / daycare
- Parents or staff at any play groups you attend
- If you are at the children’s library (or other public friendly place) and see another child with eczema, try asking that parent whether or not they could recommend a pediatric dermatologist.
For us, I am part of a friendly mom’s group and we often share information about doctors amongst ourselves. Our private pediatric dermatologist is at the same physician group as the allergist doctor of baby sees.
But in my experience, no one is guarded about sharing this sort of information – if anything, everyone will probably be really helpful with a heightened level of sympathy / empathy because dealing with an itchy eczema baby is a tough ordeal and we parents need to stick together on it!
Finding a pediatric dermatologist online
If you can’t find a local recommendation, then your next bet is to scour the web.
Parenting forums are a good place to start because the opinions and reviews of doctors there are pretty unfiltered. This is obviously more of an option if you live in a big city like London or New York as opposed to a rural town.
You might find that google shows you a lot of dermatology clinics near you. We went through the list of doctors in the clinics nearby us, and read all the profile pages. I personally don’t like to rely on starred ratings that you see on Google Maps just because it’s usually a very small sample size and the people who leave a review either have a bone to pick or heaps of praise – they’re more outliers to me. Qualitative reviews (like the ones in forums where they talk about their experience) tend to be the most helpful in assessing a clinic.
We also looked through the dermatology department of local hospitals. From there, we went down the list of staff in the dermatology department and read about each dermatologists speciality.
The best thing is to find a dermatologist that specializes in pediatric eczema because that’s absolutely a sub-specialty which exists.
What makes a good dermatologist?
Don’t judge a dermatologist by their website
Don’t judge a doctor by their website!! Many of them won’t be sexy websites. In fact, I’m pretty sure there’s a correlation between a lame website and an experienced doctor. And I postulate this is because older people in general don’t really care about what their website looks like and probably don’t really need it to have patients. You’ll know you’ve probably hit on a good dermatologist if they have a long wait time for an appointment!
Pay attention to a dermatologists experience with treating eczema in particular
Credentials are great, but we placed a lot of weight on experience. You can get a good sense of whether a dermatologist knows what they’re talking about just having a read from their bio. It’s probably the one blurb on their website that all doctors do seem to care about!
A good dermatologist is one that tries to understand the situation, asks a lot of questions pertaining to routine and triggers, then tries to piece together the puzzle.
Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet to cure eczema, so a good dermatologist should be realistic with you about that. Instead, they will use their experience and knowledge to suggest a routine for you to try out with sound logic and reason behind the routine.
And it never occurred to me before then, but knowing why we are doing something is hugely reassuring and helps give purpose and responsibility to our actions.