If your skin continues to itch and develop rashes, it is possible that you have developed an allergic reaction to one or more substances and be diagnosed with contact dermatitis.
If your skin continues to itch and develop rashes, it is possible that you have developed an allergic reaction to one or more substances and be diagnosed with contact dermatitis. More than 15,000 substances can cause a rash or broadly an allergic skin reaction.
Contact Dermatitis refers to an inflammation of the skin resulting from direct contact of a substance with the surface of the skin. There is not necessarily a pre-disposition to allergic disease.
Symptoms may include one or more of the following:
- Red rash, bumps or a burn-like rash on the skin
- Itchy, painful or burning skin
- Blisters and draining fluid
There are two types of Contact Dermatitis:
- Irritant Contact Dermatitis
- Allergic Contact Dermatitis
WHAT IS A PATCH TEST
The medical test the allergy specialist performs to uncover what’s causing your skin to react is called patch testing.
We offer extensive patch testing such as the northern series, metal patch testing, pediatric patch testing. This means that we can test for many different substances that could be causing your allergic skin reaction.
It involves applying a compounded version of the allergen to the skin for 48 hours and then read the reaction at 72 hours. A positive reaction is usually a red, raised, possibly vesicular or blistering area.
HOW IS THE PATCH TEST PERFORMED
Sets of allergens are applied, usually to the back, on special patches fitted with small “chambers” that hold the individual allergens. Anywhere between 30 and 88 allergens can be applied at a time. They are removed at 48 hours, and the skin inspected 24 hours after that.
Once the cause (or causes) of the reaction are known, the allergist will create a plan to help avoid what’s causing the rash and guide patients as to where they may find and avoid, the identified allergen.