If you suspect you have an allergy to something but cannot place what is triggering your symptoms, allergy testing can help you determine the specific indoor and outdoor factors that you are sensitive to. At Metro Dermatology, we provide and read patch testing to help patients find the source of their allergies.
Metro Dermatology has convenient locations in Bronx, Elmhurst, and Flushing, New York and Englewood, New Jersey. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
What is Patch Testing?
Unlike skin prick or injection allergy testing, patch testing is completely non-invasive. While other methods of testing expose your skin to allergens and have immediate results, patch testing is more thorough.
In order to determine whether specific allergens are causing allergic contact dermatitis, the allergens are applied to a patch and placed on the skin. Anywhere from 20-30 extracts of allergen substances can be applied to one patch.
The patches are typically worn on the back or arm for 48 hours. This amount of time determines not only which substances can cause immediate allergies but can also identify delayed allergic reactions that may take several days to develop.
What Can Patch Testing Identify?
This thorough method of allergy testing can identify allergic contact dermatitis from several substances, including:
- Hair dyes
The standard set of substances that patch testing looks for are not commonly recognized but are common additives to items such as ointments, clothes, leathers, and other everyday materials.
Prior to testing, our medical team may ask you to bring in your own cosmetics and small samples of other substances that you are exposed to on a regular basis. It is possible to develop an allergy to items that you use every day, and these substances may be added to another patch during the testing phase.
What Will the Results Tell Me?
Once the patch test results are read, our medical team will be able to not only tell you what specific substances you are allergic to but also what other common materials may contain those substances. Our team will also offer advice on how to avoid these allergens.
If the results show no allergic reaction, then contact dermatitis can be ruled out as the source of your skin problems and other methods of testing can be recommended. Although this method of allergy testing can identify several allergens, it cannot diagnose food allergies or determine the cause of skin conditions such as eczema.
Contact Metro Dermatology today to schedule a consultation and determine whether patch testing can identify the cause of your allergic contact dermatitis.
Serving Englewood NJ: Englewood Cliffs, Teaneck, Leonia, Fort Lee, Palisades Park, Hackensack, Bergenfield, Tenafly, and Ridgefield Park, NJ
Serving Flushing NY: College Point, Whitestone, Murray Hill, Bayside, Fresh Meadows, and Corona, NY
Serving Elmhurst NY: Jackson Heights, Woodside, Sunnyside, Rego Park, and Astoria, NY
Serving Bronx NY: Southwest Bronx, Downtown Bronx, Concourse Village, East Tremont, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Longwood, Foxhurst, Woodstock, Melrose, Morris Heights, Morrisania, Crotona Park East, Mott Haven, Port Morris, The Hub, Mount Eden, and Mount Hope, NY