Patch testing is a specialist procedure carried out by dermatologists. South Weymouth MA patch testing is used to determine whether a skin condition is caused by an allergy to substances (called allergens) which come into contact with the skin, such as products at home, at work or in leisure activities. Identifying the causative agent can help you implement ways to avoid it.
How Is Patch Testing Performed?
At GK Dermatology, we use the T.R.U.E test, a convenient and ready-to-use patch test that includes 36 common allergens. T.R.U.E test identifies reactions to metals (nickel, gold, cobalt), fragrance, preservatives, topical antibiotics (neomycin, bacitracin), wool alcohols, black rubber mix, and topical steroids, among others. Patient should avoid taking oral prednisone or other immunosuppressive medications for at least a week prior to testing, steroid inhalers may be used. Also, patient should avoid sunlight/sunburn for at least a week on the back, as this may suppress positive reactions.
South Weymouth MA Patch Testing for Skin Allergies
Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or cetirizine (Zyrtec) are permissible prior to and during testing. Three visits to Dermatology are required. On day one of testing, 3 patches (12 allergens placed on each) are attached on the patient’s upper back (see picture below). Patches are fixed in place with non-allergic paper tape. During the entire process, patient’s back may not get wet, and patient should limit sweating so that the patches do not come loose. Patient returns to the office in 48 hours, the patches are removed, and the first reading takes place (skin is examined to see if there is a reaction to any of the tested substances). Patient needs to return 2-5 days later for a second reading (determines whether a delayed reaction to any of the substances can occur).