If you have rashes or itchy skin occasionally and suspect you may have allergies, then you may want to invest in patch test services. A patch test identifies substances you might be allergic to so you want to know the things that cause your contact dermatitis. It can be difficult to figure this out without testing because a skin reaction may not occur right away, and this makes it difficult to pinpoint which beauty product or substance caused the rash. Here's how patch testing works.
Patch Testing Is Done By An Allergist
An allergist reviews your symptoms and decides on the right way to test for your allergy triggers. Using the patch test is a good way to test for things that cause skin reactions, and there are dozens of things the allergist can test you for. However, your test may be limited to the top common allergens found in soaps and cosmetics as well as common triggers such as nickel found in jewelry.
Several Patches Are Placed On Your Back
A patch test involves placing multiple small patches on your back. An allergen is applied to a patch and then the patch is stuck to the skin on your back. This keeps the patches out of sight during the testing period. Your allergist will usually have you wear the patches for a couple of days to give your skin time to develop a reaction. During this time, you should keep your skin dry by avoiding showers and activities that cause you to sweat.
Allergy Triggers Cause A Skin Reaction
If you're allergic to a substance on one of the patches, your skin will develop a rash under the patch. This allows the allergist to look at your back and determine what triggers your allergy symptoms. In addition, the severity of your reaction can also be noted. During this first check, the patches are removed so the skin on your back can be examined. Then, you may need to return to the allergist for another visit just to check for any delayed reactions that might occur. This helps the allergist find things that can cause a rash to develop a few days after you've had contact.
Once your allergist provides you with a list of materials that cause you to have skin itching or a rash, then treatments can be discussed. The type of treatment will depend on what causes your rashes and how bad the reaction is. If you're allergic to one or two specific things, it might be possible to just avoid the triggers by reading labels on skin care products, not wearing jewelry that contains nickel, not wearing latex gloves, or avoiding certain plants such as poison ivy. Once you know your triggers, you can avoid them much easier. If you're allergic to many things, then your allergist might suggest medications or another form of allergy treatment.
For more information about patch testing, contact an allergy specialist near you, such as Allergy Asthma Specialists.