allergy patch test on back

Allergy Patch Tests: What Are They and How Can They Help?

Skin allergies are common in that they affect as many as 1 in 5 people. Symptoms of skin allergies, medically known as allergic contact dermatitis, include bothersome skin irritation, itching, and rashes, and in more intense cases, blisters or oozing may result.

Common contact allergens include fragrances, cosmetics, fabrics, metals, detergents, preservatives, compounds, or elements. Because there is often delayed onset of skin allergens, such as a brush with poison ivy, it can be difficult to identify a cause without a doctor’s diagnostic intervention.

What Is an Allergy Patch Test?

A professional allergy patch test is a safe, effective way to diagnose contact allergies so you can learn which everyday chemicals, soaps, fabrics, or other materials you should avoid so you don’t get skin irritation.

Although an allergy is a lifelong, incurable condition, allergic contact dermatitis does not have to plague your life. If you completely avoid exposure to the allergen that causes your skin irritation, you will live free of pesky skin irritation!

How Do I Know if I Have a Skin Allergy?

You should see your doctor if you have an uncomfortable rash that takes your mind off your daily life or interferes with your sleep. If your rash comes on suddenly and is severe and widespread, make sure to be seen as soon as possible for allergy testing. If you think you have an infection due to symptoms like fever or oozing blisters, seek immediate medical care.

It’s worth noting that allergic contact dermatitis can develop even after you’ve used and been exposed to the same product for years. An allergy can develop at any point in life, not to mention product manufacturers often change ingredients over time.

Who Can Benefit from an Allergy Patch Test?

You may benefit from an allergy patch test if you experience the following:

  • You suffer from recurrent rashes.
  • You think you have an allergy but don’t know what type it is.
  • You take prescription medication but get no relief.

What Is the Process of Getting an Allergy Patch Test?

Allergists, or physicians who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of allergies, can determine which allergens aggravate your skin through an allergy patch test. These comprehensive tests check for as many as 50 to 70 reactions to common allergens that can cause contact dermatitis. The test involves the application of small, circular patches placed directly against the bare skin that are left in place for 48 hours.

At a follow-up visit, the patches are removed and reactions are observed. Depending on how you reacted, your doctor will provide guidance on the common allergens that are potential irritants – many of which may be products in your household right now.

What Happens After I Get My Allergy Patch Test Results?

The purpose of an allergy patch test is to help your allergist gain a better understanding of your skin allergens so they can develop a personalized treatment plan that may include medication, immunotherapy, as well as allergen avoidance strategy education.

Your doctor will give you a list of items that are known to include the specific allergens you are sensitive to, as well as a list of alternative items you can buy and use safely.

Allergy Institute PC Helps You Live Life Free of Skin Allergy Symptoms

Our staff at Allergy Institute PC is committed to helping you diagnose, treat, and manage your skin allergies so you don’t have to just “live with them.” Our team has state-of-the-art diagnostic technology and treatments so you can live an allergy-free life thanks to the results garnered from an allergy patch test.

Our board-certified allergists are happy to offer patient education so you have the guidance you need as to which materials are safe for your skin and which to avoid.

Contact us online or call (515) 619-5179 to get in touch with our team regarding allergy patch testing and skin allergy treatments.