Patch Testing

The Patch Testing method determines whether a host of potential allergens may be triggering eczema (atopic dermatitis) or allergic skin irritation (contact dermatitis).

Diagnosis & Treatment Options

Patch Testing detects delayed allergic responses, which proves especially useful since it can be difficult to determine the cause of a reaction that occurs days after exposure. The suspected allergens typically include detergent, soap, makeup, metal, leather, medicine, fragrance, latex, preservatives, dental products, food, and hair dye, among others.

Patch testing involves a tiny amount of various allergens placed in chambers that are then taped to the back. Patients should not get the patches wet, so no bathing or sweating allowed during this time. Also, avoid bending or stretching too much because the results will be inaccurate if the patches shift on the back. After 48-72 hours of wearing the patches, the patient returns to the office for patch removal and an examination of skin results. Redness or irritation at a particular site could indicate a contact allergy. Subsequent skin readings may be necessary depending on initial results.

Many seemingly innocuous everyday substances can be the source of eczema and allergic skin irritation. Once your triggers are identified through patch testing at Greater Austin Allergy, we will work with you to discuss substance avoidance measures.