Patch testing is used to determine what is causing the irritation or inflammation to the skin.
If you are suffering with eczema or dermatitis your dermatologist may suggest you undergo patch testing.
Patch testing is used to determine if specific a substance is responsible for causing the irritation or inflammation to the skin.
Allergic contact dermatitis is responsible for approximately half of all contact dermatitis cases. Patients who have persistent, unresolved contact dermatitis can suffer for years with a poor quality of life and increased medical treatment costs. However, the condition can be well treated after an accurate diagnosis has been obtained.
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You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.
We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.
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Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
There are approximately 40 standard substances which are frequently in contact with the skin, perfumes, plants, pollens, rubber and preservatives are just a few examples. Your consultant will discuss with you prior to the patch test which substances you will be tested for.
Your skin will be prepped and marked to identify the test area. The patches are left in place for 48 hours. To ensure that the testing strips stay in place during the time period, it is important not to get the area wet or play high energy sporting activities. Undergoing patch testing shouldn’t prevent you from going to work.
At the end of the 48 hours the tests are removed and the skin will be examined to see identify if a reaction has occurred due to any particular substance. Additional test may be required to help confirm if the result is not conclusive.
Should any allergies be identified your consultant can then advise you on the next course of action.
To try and ascertain which substance you are allergic to, a ready-to-use patch test system made up of two pieces of surgical tape (panels) containing over 20 allergens are applied to the back for 48-72 hours. These panels contain the most common substances that casue contact dermatitis. The concentration of each allergen is high enough to cause a local reaction without the risk of inducing severe or systemic reactions.
The test will be read by the consultant who will be looking for redness, rash with swelling and tiny blisters. If you are allergic, the consultant will provide you with information on where you are likely to come in contact with the offending substance(s) and can tell you how best to avoid it.
Aftercare advice may vary dependent upon the results of the patch testing. Your consultant or nurse will discuss this with you and provide advice accordingly.
We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.
The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.
Spire Hull and East Riding Hospital is just a couple of minutes drive from the Humber Bridge and 15 minutes from Hull city centre.
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