A chronic skin condition, eczema causes red, itchy and inflamed patches on the skin. Also known as atopic dermatitis (AD), it is more common among children, but can occur at any age. There are different types and stages of eczema that is long lasting (chronic) and tends to flare up periodically. As per reports, eczema affects 31.6 million people (2021 statistics) in the United States – which equals more than 10 percent of the population. Both males and females are affected equally by this condition. It is estimated that one in three children in the US has a moderate to severe form of eczema. In certain cases, some people outgrow the condition, while others will continue to have it throughout adulthood. There is no specific cure for this condition. Timely treatment modalities combined with ample self-care measures can help reduce the itching of the skin in the long run. Dermatology medical billing and coding can be challenging due to the frequent changes in coding rules and regulations. A professional medical coding outsourcing company can help dermatologists and other specialists ensure accurate and timely claim filing for appropriate reimbursement.

Eczema is often triggered by an overactive immune system that responds aggressively when exposed to irritants. Other factors that make this condition worse are – dry skin, chemical irritants, hormonal changes, infection from bacteria and viruses and other allergens from everyday materials. In some children, food allergies may play a role in causing eczema. Genetics is considered one of the primary risk factors. Eczema is more common in children who suffer from asthma or hay fever, or adults who develop these conditions later, usually before the age of 30.

Types Of Eczema And Its Symptoms

In simple terms, when people refer to eczema, they generally refer to atopic dermatitis, which is characterized as dry, itchy skin that often appears with a red rash. In fact, this is one of the most common and chronic type of eczema. Other types include – hand eczema, contact dermatitis (occurs when the skin makes contact with certain substances), dyshidrotic eczema (blistering form that’s visible only on the fingers, palms, and soles of the feet) and nummular dermatitis (causes dry, round patches of skin in the winter months). Eczema usually affects the arms, inner elbows, backs of the knees or head (particularly the cheeks and the scalp). However, the condition is not contagious and in certain cases becomes less severe with age.

Symptoms include – thickened, scaly skin, red or brownish-gray patches, intense itching, small, raised bumps that ooze fluid when scratched, crusty patches of dried yellowish ooze and cracks behind the ears. Identifying the symptoms early and initiating treatment options in a timely manner can help prevent excessive scratching that leads to skin infections. A combination of treatment methods that includes medicine, skin care, and lifestyle changes may be used. Skin care and lifestyle changes can help prevent flare-ups. Medicines and other therapies will help control itching, clear infections, minimize skin inflammation (swelling and redness), loosen and remove scaly lesions, and reduce new lesions from forming.

ICD-10 Codes For Eczema

Dermatology medical billing and coding involves using the specific ICD-10 diagnosis codes to report atopic dermatitis (eczema) on the medical claims. ICD-10-CM codes used to indicate a diagnosis of AD include –

  • L20 Atopic Dermatitis

    • L20.0 Besnier’s prurigo
    • L20.8 Other atopic dermatitis
    • L20.81 Atopic neurodermatitis
    • L20.82 Flexural eczema
    • L20.83 Infantile (acute) (chronic) eczema
    • L20.84 Intrinsic (allergic) eczema
    • L20.89 Other atopic dermatitis
    • L20.9 Atopic dermatitis, unspecified
  • L21 Seborrheic Dermatitis

    • L21.0 Seborrhea capitis
    • L21.1 Seborrheic infantile dermatitis
    • L21.8 Other seborrheic dermatitis
    • L21.9 Seborrheic dermatitis, unspecified
  • L22 Diaper Dermatitis

  • L23 Allergic Contact Dermatitis

    • L23.0 Allergic contact dermatitis due to metals
    • L23.1 Allergic contact dermatitis due to adhesives
    • L23.2 Allergic contact dermatitis due to cosmetics
    • L23.3 Allergic contact dermatitis due to drugs in contact with skin
    • L23.4 Allergic contact dermatitis due to dyes
    • L23.5 Allergic contact dermatitis due to other chemical products
    • L23.6 Allergic contact dermatitis due to food in contact with the skin
    • L23.7 Allergic contact dermatitis due to plants, except food
    • L23.8 Allergic contact dermatitis due to other agents
    • L23.81 Allergic contact dermatitis due to animal (cat) (dog) dander
    • L23.89 Allergic contact dermatitis due to other agents
    • L23.9 Allergic contact dermatitis, unspecified cause
  • L24 Irritant Contact Dermatitis

    • L24.0 Irritant contact dermatitis due to detergents
    • L24.1 Irritant contact dermatitis due to oils and greases
    • L24.2 Irritant contact dermatitis due to solvents
    • L24.3 Irritant contact dermatitis due to cosmetics
    • L24.4 Irritant contact dermatitis due to drugs in contact with skin
    • L24.5 Irritant contact dermatitis due to other chemical products
    • L24.6 Irritant contact dermatitis due to food in contact with skin
    • L24.7 Irritant contact dermatitis due to plants, except food
    • L24.8 Irritant contact dermatitis due to other agents
    • L24.81 Irritant contact dermatitis due to metals
    • L24.89 Irritant contact dermatitis due to other agents
    • L24.9 Irritant contact dermatitis, unspecified cause
  • L25 Unspecified Contact Dermatitis

    • L25.0 Unspecified contact dermatitis due to cosmetics
    • L25.1 Unspecified contact dermatitis due to drugs in contact with skin
    • L25.2 Unspecified contact dermatitis due to dyes
    • L25.3 Unspecified contact dermatitis due to other chemical products
    • L25.4 Unspecified contact dermatitis due to food in contact with skin
    • L25.5 Unspecified contact dermatitis due to plants, except food
    • L25.8 Unspecified contact dermatitis due to other agents
    • L25.9 Unspecified contact dermatitis, unspecified cause
  • L26 Exfoliative Dermatitis
  • L27 Dermatitis due to Substances taken Internally

    • L27.0 Generalized skin eruption due to drugs and medicaments taken internally
    • L27.1 Localized skin eruption due to drugs and medicaments taken internally
    • L27.2 Dermatitis due to ingested food
    • L27.8 Dermatitis due to other substances taken internally
    • L27.9 Dermatitis due to unspecified substance taken internally
  • L28 Lichen Simplex Chronicus and Prurigo

    • L28.0 Lichen simplex chronicus
    • L28.1 Prurigo nodularis
    • L28.2 Other prurigo
  • L29 Pruritus

    • L29.0 Pruritus ani
    • L29.1 Pruritus scroti
    • L29.2 Pruritus vulvae
    • L29.3 Anogenital pruritus, unspecified
    • L29.8 Other pruritus
    • L29.9 Pruritus, unspecified
  • L30 Other and Unspecified Dermatitis

    • L30.0 Nummular dermatitis
    • L30.1 Dyshidrosis [pompholyx]
    • L30.2 Cutaneous autosensitization
    • L30.3 Infective dermatitis
    • L30.4 Erythema intertrigo
    • L30.5 Pityriasis alba
    • L30.8 Other specified dermatitis
    • L30.9 Dermatitis, unspecified

Following certain basic measures like – checking for signs of infection, using OTC and/or prescription medication consistently, identifying the triggers and following a regular bathing and moisturizing routine – can help better manage and control this skin condition in the long run. Moisturizing the skin is one of the best preventive measures for controlling eczema as healthier skin will provide a better protection against allergens and irritants.

Billing and coding for inflammatory skin conditions can be complex, as there are several associated codes. By outsourcing these tasks to a reliable medical billing and coding company that offers the services of AAPC-certified coding specialists, dermatology practices can ensure accurate and timely medical billing and claim submission.