Allergy testing is a process of determining which specific allergens cause a reaction when they come into contact with the skin. Sometimes called patch testing, this process allows our certified dermatology provider to isolate specific allergens and determine the severity of the reaction. From there, you can explore treatment options and determine which allergens you should take steps to avoid. Patch testing is one of the safest ways to become aware of or confirm different allergens.
Contact allergies (or contact dermatitis) typically produce an easily visible response. Some of the symptoms include:
- Bumps and blisters
- Itchiness or burning feeling
- Red, brown, or dark spots
A reaction can occur within hours of being exposed to an allergen. Symptoms may last for a few weeks, as well. It’s important to note that contact dermatitis is not contagious and cannot be spread by touching it.
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There are a variety of common culprits of contact dermatitis. Some of the most common include:
- Certain types of jewelry
- Dyes and preservatives
- Fragrances and cosmetic products
- Plants and metals
- Rubber and latex
- Soaps and detergents
It’s possible to be allergic to these triggers but be unaware until you come into contact with them. In this case, allergy testing can be a helpful tool in affirming an allergic reaction and preventing future ones.
Allergy testing is performed at our Terre Haute office in a series of three visits. The process takes place over one week – during the first visit, the patches are applied. During the second visit, the patches are removed, and any initial results are noted. During the third visit, a final interpretation is taken. From there, you’ll discuss your treatment plan with our team.
During testing, small amounts of different allergens will be applied to the skin in an organized grid. This allows our team to keep track of which allergens are which. There’s no pain involved with patch testing, although you may experience some itchiness and red bumps similar to bug bites.
The reason patch testing is performed over a one-week period is that allergens can sometimes produce a delayed response (as much as 5-7 days), making it difficult to determine any specific allergens on your own. This process is one of the safest and most accurate ways to determine specific contact allergens.
If you have an immediate concern, you want to find quality care as soon as possible. Our office takes walk-in appointments and will be happy to address your concerns and offer you immediate treatment suggestions and medical care.LEARN MORE
Our team will discuss steps going forward for how to manage your allergies by avoiding triggers and taking medications. These might include anti-itch creams and antihistamines. Generally, you can manage contact dermatitis at home, but our team will ensure you know what signs may indicate a more severe reaction and when to seek medical help.
If you’re interested in patch testing and learning more about specific allergens, our team can help. Call our Terre Haute, IN office, fill out our online contact form, or “Walk In Now.”
RYAN T. PATTERSON FOUNDER/CEO, DCNP
Ryan is State Licensed and Nationally Board Certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner (NP-C) by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Additionally, he is board certified as a Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner (DCNP) by the Dermatology Nursing Certification Board. He has 20+ years of Dermatology Experience.Meet The Team
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