Patch Testing


Allergic Contact Dermatitis is a common skin condition that develops into a red, itchy rash when skin comes in contact with an allergen (a substance that causes an allergic reaction). With allergies, the immune system is involved. If skin comes in contact with an allergen, the immune system thinks your body is under attack. A chain of events occurs causing a release of chemicals which develops into an allergic reaction (in this case, an itchy rash).

Patch (Skin Allergy) Testing

Common allergens are nickel, rubber, dyes, preservatives, fragrances, and poison ivy. It can be extremely difficult to isolate the allergen, since in many cases, patients have been using the problem product for years without issues. Patch testing offers a safe and easy solution for determining contact allergies. Patch testing is a common diagnostic tool used to identify the specific agent that triggers allergic contact dermatitis. This type of testing does not involve needles or injections.

Patch Test Results and Process

Patch testing is a process which can take several days. Your provider will tape several patches that contain various potential chemicals to the skin on the back. These chemicals must be kept dry during the diagnostic time, typically removed after 48 hours. After the allotted time, the patch test is removed and an initial reading is taken to observe any reactions.

Once positive results have been determined, patients can take the necessary steps to avoid their triggers. Our providers will supply patients with specific information on their individual triggers and how to prevent contact.

Patch Test Pain

Patch tests have little to no pain. However, positive reactions may cause itching and red bumps. The itching and bumps resolve generally quickly.

If you need help managing your Allergic Contact Dermatitis, please call our offices for an appointment.