Allergy Patch Testing

Patch testing is a way to find out what things might be causing skin allergies and helps healthcare providers diagnose and properly treat your symptoms.

What is Patch Testing?

Patch testing is a diagnostic method used by healthcare providers to identify substances that may be causing skin allergies. During the process, small amounts of various substances, such as common allergens or chemicals, are applied to patches that are then placed on the skin. The patches are typically left in place for a specified period, allowing for the observation of any skin reactions.

This testing is particularly helpful in uncovering contact allergies, which are reactions that occur when the skin comes into direct contact with certain substances. By identifying these triggers, healthcare professionals can develop targeted treatment plans to alleviate symptoms and improve the quality of life for individuals with skin allergies. Patch testing is a valuable tool that aids in the personalized management of skin conditions.

Our Patch Testing Process

Substance Selection

After an evaluation, our team will carefully select a range of potential allergens or chemicals based on your medical history and suspected triggers. These substances are chosen to represent common culprits for skin allergies.

Application of Patch Panels

Small amounts of the selected substances are applied to patch panels, which are then affixed to your back. The patches remain in place for a set period, usually 48 hours, allowing for skin exposure to the potential allergens.

Observation and Analysis

After the specified period, your provider will remove the patches and closely examine the skin for any signs of reactions. The patches are typically read at 48 hours and then 72 or 96 hours.  Skin reactions, such as redness or inflammation, help identify specific substances causing allergies. The observed results guide the development of personalized treatment plans to manage and alleviate skin allergies effectively.

Conditions We Can Diagnose Through a Patch Test

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

This occurs when the skin encounters allergens such as nickel, fragrances, preservatives, or certain plants, leading to an allergic reaction.

Atopic Dermatitis

In some cases, patch testing may be used to identify allergens exacerbating atopic dermatitis, a chronic skin condition characterized by inflammation and itching.

Patch Testing FAQs

Patch Testing lasts for a specific period, usually 48 hours, during which your skin is exposed to potential allergens. After this period, your provider will remove the patches and examine your skin for reactions, which can include redness or inflammation. These results help identify the allergens responsible for skin allergies and inform personalized treatment plans for effective management.

During Patch Testing, your skin may be exposed to several types of substances that can cause dermatitis, including but not limited to nickel, fragrances, and preservatives.

During a Patch Test, your provider will advise you to limit certain activities that will cause your patches to move or cause you to sweat such as bathing or exercising.

Talk with an allergist about patch testing.