All kinds of exposures cause allergies. Dust, dander, pollens and foods cause reactions in sensitive people.
Before you can eliminate contact dermatitis or other allergic reactions, you must know the culprit. That is where patch/chemical testing comes in. The name refers to the patch test kit used for testing and the chemicals included. Those chemicals are diluted versions of the most common types of allergens.
Depending on the results of your patch/chemical testing, you can take steps to avoid allergic triggers or undergo desensitization treatment. This knowledge makes a huge difference in your quality of life.
Learn more about patch/chemical testing at Broward CENTA in Miami, Florida.
Long used for diagnosing the sources of allergic reactions, patch/chemical testing does not involve any injections or skin pricks. The doctor places minute amounts of allergens on the back then covers each with a hypoallergenic patch.
The patches must remain for 48 hours. At that point, the patient returns to the doctor’s office. The doctor removes the patches and takes note of any reaction.
Within one week, the patient must return to the office again. That’s because it can take up to seven days for some reactions to occur.
If you cannot pin down the cause of your contact dermatitis, patch/chemical testing is the way to do so.
If you suffer from contact dermatitis or other allergy-related issues, you are a good candidate for patch/chemical testing.
Tell the doctor about any medications you take, whether prescription or over-the-counter. If you have taken any form of cortisone in the past month (either orally or via injection), you must wait for testing. That includes topical hydrocortisone, often used for itch relief. Steroids alter patch test results.
Prepare for the patch/chemical test by staying out of the sun for at least four weeks. In the week before the patch/chemical test, avoid any use of steroid creams. Do not put any lotions or creams on the body 24 hours before appointments.
Wear loose-fitting old clothes to the appointment, as there is always a risk of staining. The doctor may ask you to bring samples of items you think may contribute to your reaction, such as special soaps or creams.
Up to 150 tiny chambers containing allergen materials are applied to the back. The number of tests for most patients is considerably smaller. These chambers are held in place by hypoallergenic adhesive patches. This procedure may take 30 minutes or more.
On the second visit, the patches are removed. An indelible marker identifies the testing areas. The doctor performs a preliminary reading of the results.
The marks must remain until the third visit. The doctor then interprets the results.
Avoid strenuous exercise or any activity that might move the patches. Make sure the patches stay dry. Getting them wet can affect the results. Once the patch testing is finished, patients can go about their normal activities.
A negative result means your skin did not react to the patch test. You are not allergic to those substances.
A positive test means your skin did react, and the doctor will let you know which substances may have triggered the reaction. Once you can identify these substances, you can take measures to avoid them. The doctor creates a treatment plan for the patient.
A severe reaction may require topical medication to promote healing.
Keep in mind there are more than 15,000 substances that can potentially cause an allergic reaction. A patch/chemical test simply narrows the possibilities.
If you develop allergy symptoms, identifying the cause is the first step toward managing the condition. Schedule a consultation today with Dr. Sina Joorabchi at Broward CENTA.
Patch/chemical testing should not hurt.
Patch testing is considered very safe. Some people experience skin irritation. The skin may discolor temporarily.
Rarely, a severe reaction to an allergen occurs. If you experience breathing difficulties, nausea, vomiting, or serious swelling, seek immediate medical attention. These life-threatening side effects almost always take place within 30 minutes of the test.
The office will discuss costs with you prior to patch/chemical testing.
If you suffer from persistent congestion or sinus pain, every day feels like a struggle. But there is a way to stop the headaches, the runny noses, and the sleepless nights. Schedule your consultation at Broward ENT & Allergy today to get relief from your ENT issues and start breathing freely again.
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