Patch Testing

Patch Testing

What is Patch Testing used for?

Patch Testing is used specifically to test for allergic triggers in a condition called Contact Dermatitis. It is not used to test for allergies to foods or airborne allergens such as pollen.

What is Contact Dermatitis?

Contact Dermatitis occurs when the skin reacts to a substance which it has been in direct contact with resulting in a red, itchy rash. The rash occurs in the same distribution as the area of contact. It often occurs on the hands as a result of occupational exposures such as Latex or Rubber containing gloves. Contact dermatitis is found more commonly in women than men, primarily due to nickel found in some jewellery and to acrylate allergy associated with nail cosmetics. Contact dermatitis is particularly prevalent in metal workers, cleaners, painters, hairdressers and health care workers.

What does Patch Testing test for?

Patch Testing uses three strips of test patches containing 36 different substances. These substances tested for are the common chemicals in our daily environment and workplaces that most frequently cause skin reactions. They include fragrances, cosmetics, hair dye, dental metals, sun cream, lanolin and adhesives.

How is Patch Testing performed?

Patch strips are applied to the skin on the back. They are left in place for 2-3 days and then removed and examined by one of our doctors who will interpret the results and decide on a management plan.