Cracking the Code


As per the Mayo Clinic, Dermatitis is a common condition that causes swelling and irritation of the skin. It has many causes and forms and often involves itchy, dry skin or a rash. Or it might cause the skin to blister, ooze, crust, or flake. Three common types of this condition are atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is also known as eczema.

Dermatitis isn’t contagious, but it can be very uncomfortable. Moisturizing regularly helps control the symptoms. Treatment also may include medicated ointments, creams, and shampoos.”

The block of codes for dermatitis and eczema (L20-L30) uses the terms dermatitis and eczema synonymously. Codes for dermatitis and eczema are selected based on the type or the substance that caused the dermatitis. For example, dermatitis that develops because of exposure to an acetone paint solvent is reported with L24.2 Irritant contact dermatitis due to solvents. This is found in the ICD-10-CM Alphabetic Index by looking for Dermatitis/due to/acetone or Dermatitis/due to/solvents.

Q: A patient complains of a rash that is extremely itchy. It began when she started using a new laundry detergent. She is examined, and the provider diagnoses her with dermatitis, due to exposure to the laundry detergent. What is the ICD-10-CM code that is reported for this encounter?
A: : L24.0 Rationale: The patient is diagnosed with dermatitis due to detergent. In our ICD-10-CM Alphabetic Index, we are going to search for Dermatitis/due to/detergents (contact) (irritant). We are directed to L24.0. As always, we will want to verify the code selection in the Tabular List.
Reference: 2024 ICD-10-CM codebook, Mayo Clinic
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