PATCH TESTING & SKIN ALLERGIES
Patch testing is a procedure to investigate if a substance or chemical may be causing a skin allergy. Many patients are unaware that there may be a skin allergy causing their dermatitis.
Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when someone becomes allergic to substances that contact the skin. Skin allergy (contact dermatitis) is common in Australia, and common allergens include cosmetics, fragrance, nickel, and preservatives.
Patch testing is quite different to the prick testing which is used to investigate hay fever. Patch testing is the most reliable way to determine an allergic cause for a skin rash.
Contact dermatitis may be the cause of dermatitis around the eyes, or dermatitis which flares up very suddenly. Many cases of hand dermatitis can have an allergic cause. Some patients may have long standing eczema since childhood which is aggravated later in life by a contact allergy.