Patch Testing

Allergy Patch Tests

What conditions is Patch Testing used for?

Patch Testing is used specifically to test for allergic triggers in a condition called Contact Dermatitis.

Patch testing is not used to test for allergies to foods or airborne allergens such as pollen. These are tested for using skin prick allergy testing.

What does Patch Testing test for?

Patch testing tests for the common chemicals and substances in our daily environment and workplaces that most frequently cause skin reactions. This includes fragrances, cosmetics, rubbers, dyes, dental metals, sun cream, lanolin and adhesives. Often these substances cause a delayed allergic skin responses that takes several days to develop.

Patch Testing at Allergy Ireland

All Patch Testing at Allergy Ireland's clinic in Dublin is immediately followed by a consultation with one of our allergy doctors who will accurately interpret the results and tailor a management plan.

How is Patch Testing performed?

Patch Testing in Allergy Ireland involves the use of 3 test patch strips which each contain 12 allergenic substances. Patch strips are applied directly to the skin on the back and they are left in place for 3 days. During the period the patch test area must be kept dry. The area may become somewhat itchy but tolerability is rarely an issue. The patch tests are then removed and the skin is immediately examined by one of our allergy doctors who will interpret the results in the context of the clinical history to allow the appropriate management plan to be put in place. 

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.