Patch Testing For Dermatitis

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If you have a skin condition known as dermatitis, you may need patch test services. Symptoms of dermatitis include itchy skin, redness, inflammation, and pain. Dermatitis is typically caused by an allergic reaction, however, an effective treatment plan cannot be implemented until the allergen has been identified.

While your detailed medical history may give your doctor clues about which allergen is triggering your dermatitis, patch testing is the only reliable method of determining the cause of your dermatitis. Here are some things you should know about patch testing.

Before, During, And After

When you arrive at the patch test services facility, a professional clinician, or healthcare provider, will review your clinical patient forms and take a detailed medical history from you. The medical history will include questions about your symptoms, family history of allergies, lifestyle choices and dietary habits. Your clinician will then determine which allergen patch test should be use. 

After the clinician determines which test is appropriate for you, he or she will order the custom test, which may take a few weeks. After the patch tests arrive, they are affixed to your back, and stay in place for at least a couple of days. The patches should not be removed unless directed by your healthcare provider.

Removing the patches prematurely may yield inconclusive results. Also, be sure to keep the patches dry, because getting them wet may cause them to loosen. When it's time to remove your patches, you will go back to the office, and the clinician will examine the areas where the patches were located.

You will need to have a couple of readings, and during the final reading, your results will be discussed with you. If your test revealed a positive reaction, your physician will discuss your treatment plan. 

Negative Reaction

If your patch test does not reveal the cause for your dermatitis, your doctor may either recommend a repeat patch test, or recommend other diagnostic tests to rule out other causes for your dermatitis.

Skin conditions such as contact dermatitis may also be caused by autoimmune disorders such as hypothyroidism, and may even be related by psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression. Other non-allergic causes for dermatitis may include fungal infections, diabetes, and kidney disorders. 

If you develop dermatitis, your doctor may recommend that you have a patch test before undergoing other diagnostic testing. Allergic reactions are some of the most common causes of contact dermatitis. Once your allergen has been identified, simply avoiding the allergen may keep dermatitis away.