Patch Testing Specialist

Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates

Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Specialists located in Alliance, Fort Worth, TX & Southlake, TX

Allergic contact dermatitis is an uncomfortable condition that causes itchy, painful, irritated patches of skin. At Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates, with locations in Southlake and Fort Worth, Texas, a team of allergy specialists can perform patch testing to determine whether you have allergic contact dermatitis. If you’re struggling with cracked, itchy skin, call Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates or book an appointment online now.

Patch Testing Q & A

What is patch testing?

Patch testing is a diagnostic test to determine whether a certain substance — copper, nickel, preservatives, rubber, adhesives, etc. — is causing your skin to break out into a rash. This painful allergic inflammation is known as allergic contact dermatitis (ACD).

During a patch test, your doctor puts small amounts of various potential allergens on patches that are then placed on your skin to see if any of them cause a reaction. If you have allergic contact dermatitis, the area being tested with the patch may become itchy, red, or cracked.

Once Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates narrows down which substance is causing your allergic reaction, they can create a treatment plan that works for you.

What causes allergic contact dermatitis?

Many of the most common allergic contact dermatitis triggers include:

  • Latex
  • Skin care products
  • Perfumes and other fragrances
  • Cosmetics
  • Poison oak or poison ivy
  • Certain adhesives (bandages)
  • Hair dyes
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Jewelry (especially nickel, gold, or copper)

During your visit, the team may ask you questions about the products you regularly use to narrow down which chemicals might be causing your allergic reactions.

What are the symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis?

You may have allergic contact dermatitis if you experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Skin inflammation
  • Redness
  • Dry, cracked skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Tenderness
  • Burning or stinging
  • Blisters

If you have a rash for longer than three weeks, schedule an appointment with Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates right away for comprehensive allergy testing.

How is patch testing done?

Patch testing requires at least three visits to Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates. At your first appointment, the team places small patches containing the possible  substances responsible for allergic contact dermatitis onto your back. These patches are customized for you based on your possible exposures.

These patches must stay on your skin for 48 hours before the team removes them and records your preliminary results. Your doctor then takes a final reading at your third appointment to confirm your results.

How should I prepare for a patch test?

Prior to your patch test, it’s important to:

  • Avoid using oral or topical steroids for two weeks.
  • Shave if you have thick dark hair.
  • Refrain from vigorous exercise that may cause you to sweat.
  • Abstain from using oils, lotions, or ointments.
  • Stop tanning two weeks before and after the test.

Once your patches are placed, make sure they stay dry. It’s also important not to erase the markers on your back, as they help the team interpret your results.

Patch testing is an effective tool for diagnosing allergic contact dermatitis. If you have a positive patch test result, the provider will go over ways to avoid your allergen(s). Since Advanced Allergy & Asthma is involved with the American Contact Dermatitis Society, our patch test patients have access to the Contact Allergen Management Program (CAMP) Database.  This database provides products that should not contain the allergen(s) that was positive on the patch testing (meaning the product should be safe to use).

To schedule an appointment with Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates, call the office or book a visit online.