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Allergic Skin and Allergy Patch Testing
Allergic skin reactions are very common. The skin of the average American is exposed to hundreds of chemicals everyday. Our shampoos, conditioners, deoderants, soaps, makeup, detergents and fabric softeners are full of artificial substances. Many of these cause skin reactions. Examples include Parabens which are common preservatives in our skin care products. Fragrances are also a top cause of allergic skin reactions.
We utilize patch testing to find out what is causing your rash (instead of just giving you medications which make you feel better but dont find the REASON for you rash). Pathc testing does not use needles, just patches that stay on you skin for 48 hours. We usually place three patches on your back for two days. Each patch has 10 areas for a total of 30 substances. Do not get your back wet during those 48 hours, and avoid strenous exercise. Irritated skin may indicate an allergy.
Many patients with a diagnosis of Atopic Dermatitis are allergic to chemicals such as fragrances, preservatives, and dyes. Patch testing can be used to determine if an allergy is the cause of your symptoms. Note that this is a different type of testing from scratch testing done by an allergist (which checks for respiratory allergies).