Patch testing is a process used to identify chemical additives that may be causing allergic reactions on the skin otherwise known as contact dermatitis. Westwood Dermatology Group is pleased to offer the North American 80 Comprehensive Series preferred by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group for the diagnosis of contact dermatitis.
How is the Test Performed
Patients are seen in consultation prior to patch testing. When they come in for actual testing, waterproof patches are placed on the skin. These are removed at a follow-up appointment two days later and a preliminary determination is made for each antigen patch at that time. A final appointment is scheduled approximately five days after patches are removed, at which time your provider will determine your final results for each antigen. The process therefore requires four appointments: consultation (initial), patch test placement, patch test removal ( two days after placement) and final interpretation (approximately 5 days after removal or one week after placement).
Your provider may ask you to bring your own substances in for testing, which you should do when you come in for initial patch test placement.
What Happens if Results are Positive
When reading the results, your provider may classify each spot on a scale from negative (no reaction) to extreme reaction. Strong results may cause blisters on the skin which can be treated once the test is complete.
If positive results have been determined, patients can take steps to avoid their triggers and prevent contact dermatitis from occurring. As members of the American Contact Dermatitis Society, we have access to databases that allow us to provide a comprehensive list of products patients may use based on their test results.
- Irritant reaction
- Weak positive
- Strong positive
- Extreme positive