The symptoms of an allergic reaction can range from mild and moderate to severe and life-threatening. That’s why it’s important to go for an allergy patch test to know what is triggering your allergic reaction. At Rao Dermatology, we perform this test and recommend strategies for treating the symptoms. In this article, Dr. Babar K. Rao, a Board Certified Dermatologist, provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about allergy patch test.
What Is an Allergy Patch Test?
Allergy patch testing is the process of detecting what causes your allergic reactions. This test involves the application of patches with test substances on your back. The patches are held into position with hypoallergenic tapes.
Allergy skin tests are used to diagnose allergic conditions, including allergic asthma, penicillin allergy, latex allergy, dermatitis (eczema) and bee venom allergy. The information from this test can help our doctor to develop the best treatment plan that includes allergy shots, medications, or prevention measures.
Patch Testing vs. Prick Testing: What Is the Difference?
Patch testing is different from prick testing. Patch testing is used to detect the causes of contact dermatitis, which includes cosmetics, shoes, hair dye, active ingredients, preservatives, medicaments, and fragrances in sunscreens. Prick testing, on the other hand, is done to identify allergies to mold, dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and foods.
Who Is a Good Candidate for This Test?
Allergy patch testing is generally safe for children and adults of all ages. In certain circumstances, though, this test is not recommended. Our doctor may advise you against patch testing if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction, take medications that could interfere with test results, or have certain skin conditions.
What Is the Process of Getting an Allergy Patch Test?
The first step is to schedule an initial consultation with our dermatologist. During your initial consultation, our dermatologist will assess your medical history to determine whether allergy patch testing is right for you. In some treatment centers, the patches are applied during your initial consultation, while in others the test is scheduled on a later date. It is important to bring along things that have been in contact with your skin including moisturizers, cosmetics, gloves, work samples, and shoes.
Medications that can interfere with skin tests include prescription antihistamines, over-the-counter antihistamines, heartburn medications, and asthma medications. During your initial consultation, make sure you tell your doctor a list of medications you have been using.
If you are ready for allergy patch testing, speak with the experts at Rao Dermatology to learn more. Dr. Rao and his medical team will work with you to ensure the most accurate results are delivered. Their offices are located in Manhattan NY, Atlantic Highlands and Woodbridge NJ, and Fresno and Hanford CA. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!