Ever wondered if you have an allergy? There’s a test for that! Yes, you can be tested right in our office to help determine what could be causing annoying symptoms from things you eat, breathe, or touch. Here are some of the basics about allergy patch testing and what you need to know.
First things first, what is patch testing?
A patch test is done to determine if a particular allergen is causing or aggravating a skin condition. These patch tests are specifically done for those who have dermatitis. During the procedure, a patch will be placed on your skin and then exposed to substances to see if your skin produces an allergic reaction. This also helps you see if any of your allergic reactions are delayed or take several days to manifest.
How can I prepare for a patch test?
You’ll meet with Dr. Stockton for an initial consultation to discuss your current condition and medical history. This information will help Dr. Stockton determine what the probable cause of your skin inflammation is. At this time, it’s really important to tell her all the medications you’ve been taking, especially if you are taking antihistamines or antidepressants as these medications may interfere with the results of the patch test.
What happens during a patch test?
During the actual patch test, allergens will be applied to patches that are placed on your skin, usually on your back. A single patch may have 20 to 30 different extracts of substances that can trigger reactions of contact dermatitis. Some of these substances might be fragrances, latex, resins, metals, preservatives, medications, and even hair dyes.
What happens after patch testing?
Because the patches are usually placed on your back or arm and need to be in place for 48 hours, you’ll be advised not to bathe or take part in activities that may cause heavy sweating. Once your patch is removed, any irritated areas of skin at the patch site will indicate that you have an allergy to that substance.