Patch tests (contact allergy testing)

Allergists apply patch tests in patients with dermatitis, to find out whether their skin condition may be caused or aggravated by a contact allergy. Patch tests are not the same as skin prick tests, which are used to diagnose hay fever allergy (house dust mite, grass pollens and cat dander).

What is Allergic Contact Dermatitis?

Allergic contact dermatitis is a common inflammatory reaction that occurs when substances which you are allergic to come in contact with your skin. These substances could be an ingredient in your cosmetics or aftershave, jewelry, antibiotic ointment or cream, rubber boots, etc.

What is a Patch Test?

The Patch Test is a reliable allergen patch skin test designed to help your doctor determine whether or not you are allergic to any substances included on the test panel.

It is a unique, direct "in vivo" test independent of any laboratory procedure. High reliability is achieved through use of highly purified, standard test substances.

How Long Will I Wear TESTING PATCH?

Your doctor will ask you to return after the panels have been on your back for a minimum of 48 hours.

Are There Activities I Should Avoid TEST PATCH is on My Back?

Just a few: When bathing or showering, you must be careful not to get the test panel or surrounding area wet. If the test panel does become wet, it may loosen, allowing the test substances or marking ink to be washed away.

For the same reason, any activity that may cause you to sweat or cause the test panel to loosen, such as sun bathing or exercising, should also be avoided.

If for any reason an area of the test panel does become loose, you should immediately reattach it with a hypoallergenic adhesive tape.

When Will My Results be Read?

The date and time of your next visit have been noted elsewhere on this leaflet or on an appointment card. It is very important that you keep this appointment. Since a reaction to any of the test substances will continue to develop even after the panels are removed, your doctor will determine how long you should wait before your next appointment.

What is the Doctor Looking For?

At each of your next appointments, your doctor will carefully examine the test area for signs of an allergic reaction. This reaction usually consists of rash with swelling, redness, and tiny blisters. Redness alone, however does not necessarily mean that you have had an allergic reaction.

What Should I Do if the Test Area Itches or Burns?

Itching and burning sensations are common with patch testing. It itching and burning sensations become severe, you should contact your doctor.

Try not to scratch the test area. If you do, the skin may become irritated and itch even more. Skin that has become red and irritated by scratching will make it difficult by your physician to interpret the result of the test.

What is the Next Step if the Test Shows That I Am Allergic to One or More of the Substances?

If you are allergic, your doctor will provide information on where in your everyday surroundings you are likely to come in contact with the substances to which you are allergic.

Your doctor will also tell you how best to avoid these substances and possibly suggest alternatives to them. What Does a Negative Test Result Mean?

The PATCH TEST is designed to identify the most common allergens that cause allergic contact dermatitis. A negative test result will minimize the need to restrict your use of products that contains these allergens.

Furthermore, a negative result provides valuable information that will help your doctor diagnose your condition and initiate treatment.



NE Ohio Allergies