Allergies are an unfortunate occurrence for many of us. Information from allergy tests, however, may help your doctor develop an allergy treatment plan that includes allergen avoidance, medications or allergy shots (immunotherapy).
The doctors at The Dermatology Center use allergy patch testing to help diagnose allergic conditions, including:
- Hay fever
- Allergic asthma
- Food allergies
- Penicillin allergy
- Bee venom allergy
- Latex allergy
What can i expect from an allergy patch test?
Patch testing is generally done to see whether a particular substance is causing allergic skin irritation (contact dermatitis). Patch tests can detect delayed allergic reactions, which can take several days to develop.
Patch tests don't use needles. Instead, allergens are applied to patches, which are then placed on your skin. During a patch test, your skin may be exposed to 20 to 30 extracts of substances that can cause contact dermatitis. These can include latex, medications, fragrances, preservatives, hair dyes, metals and resins.
You wear the patches on your arm or back for 48 hours. During this time, you should avoid bathing and activities that cause heavy sweating. The patches are removed when you return to your doctor's office. Irritated skin at the patch site may indicate an allergy.