Skin Allergies and Patch Testing

Allergies of the skin cause a variety of symptoms, the most common of which are the following:

  • itching
  • red rashes
  • raised rashes
  • bumpy skin
  • scaly skin
  • swollen skin
  • blisters
  • burning

More severe allergies include eczema, hives, caused by the leaking of blood vessels, and Angioedema, caused by the swelling of deep layers of the skin and often seen in conjunction with hives.

Patch Testing for Skin Allergies

To determine the cause of skin allergies, dermatological professionals conduct a series of tests that single out possible irritants and help determine which is causing a patient’s skin irritation.

Patch testing is conducted by creating small patched areas on the arm or back and conducting a test of the skin’s reaction when common irritants are applied to the area. By ruling out specific, known irritants and determining which family of irritants cause reactions in the skin, a treatment regimen can be determined to relieve symptoms and help prevent future outbreaks.

If you are experiencing the the symptoms above or have a history skin irritation, contact the Skin and Cancer Center of Scottsdale at (480) 596-1110 to schedule a consultation for patch testing to determine the cause of irritation and get proper treatment.

Common Causes of Skin Irritations

Persons who suffer from skin irritations often come in contact with a triggering substance in their homes, at work and during daily routines. These triggering substances result in what is know as  Contact Dermatitis. More common sources of Contact Dermatitis include the following:

  •      Latex rubber gloves
  •      Hair products
  •      Detergents
  •      Fragrances
  •      Cleaning solutions
  •      Cosmetics
  •      Metals
  •      Jewelry
  •      Medications

How is Patch Testing is Performed?

Instead of using needles, potential allergens are applied to your back or arm in patches. The potential allergens are placed in small discs, which are then taped to the surface of your skin. Because some allergic reactions take several days to develop, patch tests are usually worn for 48 hours.

Once the patches have been worn for 48 hours, they will be removed in the doctor’s office and the skin will be assessed by a medical professional for signs of allergic reaction. The test helps identify the triggering allergens. By ridding your home of triggering allergens and avoiding triggering allergens outside the home, the patient is able to reduce or eliminate future outbreaks.

By testing with small amounts of potential allergens, the testing is usually painless or causes only mild irritation.

For more information on how patch testing can help you, call the Skin and Cancer Center of Scottsdale today at (480) 596-1110.