Allergy Skin Patch Testing
A skin patch test is performed to see if certain allergens will cause a skin irritation called contact dermatitis. Patch tests can usually detect any delayed allergic reaction to an allergen, this process can take several days to show results.
If you seem to be experiencing an allergic reaction involving the skin, you might be wondering which type of allergy test can best determine the source of your symptoms. The ideal solution is to perform a patch test, where allergen-filled patches are placed on your back. If you live in or near the Atlanta area and need the patch test performed by a professional allergist, the experts at Northside Allergy and Asthma are here for you.
What is a Skin Patch Test?
A skin patch test is when a professional allergist performs a test on you using allergens and skin patches. This test is performed to determine if you are indeed allergic to certain allergens that are placed on your body. Some of the allergies that this test can determine includes:
- Latex Allergies
- Medication Allergies
- Fragrance Allergies
- Preservative Allergies
- Metal Allergies
- Resins Allergies
How is a Skin Patch Test Done?
Your Allergist will apply the allergens and patch to either your back or arm. During the time in which you wear the patch, you need to avoid bathing and activities that can cause heavy sweating.
A patch test does not use needles, instead, allergens are applied to the patches, in which are then placed on your skin for an extended time. During a patch test, you can be exposed to 20-30 different allergens at once, to determine if any of the allergens applied will cause contact dermatitis.
How long Does a Skin Patch Test Take?
You will need to wear a skin patch you a minimum of 48 hours – 72 hours. This gives time for the patch to work and show the results that your doctor is looking for.
Things to Avoid For 48 Hours
What is the Purpose of Patch Tests?
The purpose of patch testing is to evaluate your reaction to metals (jewelry), cosmetics, hair dyes, fragrances, skin creams, some medications, latex, and several other substances. Your Atlanta allergist Dr. Chacko will apply up to 20 or 30 substances onto your skin, some of which may cause contact dermatitis, i.e., skin irritation.
In some cases, we will ask you to bring in your own substances that you have regular exposure to, which we will prepare for testing prior to your first appointment.
*** If severe irritation or inflammation occurs, contact us immediately! ***
Allergy Test Safety
Allergy skin tests are equally safe for both adults and children. However, we strongly recommend informing us of any medications that you or your child may be taking prior to scheduling the skin test, as some medications may interfere with the results.
What Medications Can Interfere with Allergy Testing Results?
Before your doctor can schedule a test, make sure that they know about all your prescription and non-prescription medication that you take. Some medications can alter the allergic reactions caused during the test, or not show a reaction at all. To make sure that your getting 100% results out of the performed testing the doctor and allergy specialist will need to know this detailed information.
For some medications, it takes time for all the medication to clear out of your system. Depending on the medication that you are taking, your doctor may request that you stop taking certain drugs for up to 10 days. Some of the medications that can interfere with a skin test include:
- Prescription Antihistamines: Levocetirizine (Xyzal) and Desloratadine (Clarinex).
- Over-The-Counter Antihistamines: Loratadine (Claritin, Alavert), Diphenhydramine (Benadryl, etc.), Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton), Cetirizine (Zyrtec, etc.) and Fexofenadine (Allegra).
- Tricyclic Antidepressants: Nortriptyline (Pamelor) and Desipramine (Norpramin).
- Some Heartburn Medications: Cimetidine (Tagamet) and Ranitidine (Zantac).
- Asthma medication: Omalizumab (Xolair)
Contact A Local Allergist
For more information on patch testing and/or a detailed consultation with your allergist in Atlanta, GA, or surrounding areas, please call or visit us today. At Northside Allergy and Asthma, it is our job to discover and treat your allergies at the source. We have 5 convenient locations – Atlanta, Roswell, Duluth, Cummings, or Johns Creek. You can also use one of our online appointment request forms.