SKIN ALLERGY TESTING
- Raised, itchy rash
- Burning sensation
- Itchy skin
- Red, inflamed skin
SKIN ALLERGY TESTING AT ARMSTRONG MD: IDENTIFYING THE TRIGGER
A dermatological patch test does not involve needles or pain. The test is performed by taping tiny, round patches infused with various skin allergens on your back. The patch test is left in place for 48 hours so there is sufficient exposure to the substances for a reaction to occur. After 48 hours, the first reading is taken by our dermatologist at Armstrong MD. Another diagnostic reading is taken after a subsequent 24 to 48 hours. The entire procedure is simple to perform, and involves three appointments at our clinic over a week’s time. An accurate identification of the substances triggering an unpleasant, uncomfortable skin reaction can help you avoid those substances in the future and improve your quality of life.
Some of the most common allergic reactions are from poison oak or poison ivy, but allergic skin dermatitis can be triggered by many other substances. Some of the most common substances that cause an allergic reaction include:
- Cleaning products
- Citrus fruits
- Fragrances in cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, etc.
- Skin medications
- Hair straightening products
- Hair dye
- Chemicals used to tan leather
Only a tiny amount is needed to perform the test, and the substances should be labeled with their chemical names and what they are typically called in your industry. Bring samples of any cosmetics you commonly use, including nail polish, moisturizer, perfumes, sunscreen and others.
The results of skin exposure to the various potential allergens in skin patch testing will be professionally evaluated to identify the substances causing a reaction. For some patients who work with various chemical substances, you may be asked to bring in samples of these substances one week prior to testing so they can be prepared for your skin patch test.
THE PATCH TEST FOR CONTACT DERMATITIS
Preparing for testing requires you to avoid sun exposure to your back for four weeks prior to testing. You cannot swim, exercise, or engage in any activity that leads to excessive sweating during the time the test is in process. Your back must be kept completely dry so you will need to avoid baths or showers for the duration of the test.
AFTER THE PATCH TEST
Once the allergen triggering a reaction is identified, you will need to take various actions to avoid contact with those substances. Depending upon the type of substance, you may need to change the type of cosmetics, creams, or even clothing you wear; avoiding contact will help you avoid future allergic skin reactions. You will no longer be able to touch or use the products containing the allergen, so certain lifestyle changes may be necessary. Our dermatologist will help you by recommending products less likely to cause a reaction.
WHAT TO DO
If you have developed itchy, rashy skin, it is important to have it checked by one of our highly-skilled dermatologists at Armstrong MD. Some rashes can be a symptom of a more serious medical condition. If you commonly experience red, itchy skin, skin rashes, or blisters, connect with us to perform a patch test to identify the allergen causing the reaction.