The importance of allergy Patch testing for skin allergies
Sniffles, sneezes and hay fever are general symptoms of seasonal aero-allergens and quite easily detected. You can head to your doctor to diagnose the cause behind it and get medications for the same. After that, all you have to do is follow your doctor’s advice and stay away from the reasons. Simple, isn’t it?
What about your skin? It is the first line of contact between you and the world, and that means it comes in contact with allergens all day, every day. These contacts result in allergic reactions like itching, rashes, and irritation. Sometimes, these allergic reactions occur after a long delay, making it difficult to diagnose the exact cause behind them.
Allergic skin reactions can occur due to several harmless-looking items that you use daily. Some of these are:
- Beauty products
- Hair dyes
- Jewellery made from metals such as cobalt and nickel.
- Shampoos, soaps, lotions, etc
- Certain clothes made from latex, leather, etc.
- Plants like poison ivy
So, what do you do? The answer is an allergy patch test for skin allergies. Let’s find out more in detail.
What is an allergy patch test?
An allergy patch test or a patch test is a type of skin test done to ascertain what caused a possible allergic skin reaction. The reaction is medically called allergic contact dermatitis or allergic eczema and generally occurs when your skin comes into contact with an allergen.
How does allergy patch testing work?
Allergy patch testing happens at a dermatology clinic. Here a lab attendant or nurse will apply common contact allergens on small patches and put them on your skin. A standard panel will test for 50 common contact allergens, and these can be any one of the agents mentioned above. Typically, the nurse will place the patches on your back and leave them for 48 hours.
The testing involves two follow-up visits to your doctor for reaction observation, and once the test period is over, they will remove the patches. The way your skin reacts to each allergen helps the doctor determine if there is an allergic reaction. Based on the reactivity level and different allergic response, the doctor will prepare a report of allergens that irritated. They will also give you a list of everyday items containing the specific allergen that you must avoid in your daily life.
What is the treatment for Allergic Contact Dermatitis?
Once you have the report and the list from your doctor, it is time to evaluate your daily life. It might mean switching from your regular beauty and hair product that contains an allergen. It also means talking to your HR or your boss regarding exposure to the allergen at your workplace. In the meantime, the allergic reactions will likely take some days or a week to subside completely. To ease the irritation, itchiness or redness, you can use topical creams and steroids.
You can have allergic skin reactions to possibly anything out there, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop living your life. Allergy patch testing is safe and quite effective in diagnosing contact allergies. If you have queries and doubts regarding the test, you can talk to your dermatologists and get a clear picture. If you liked this blog, you could check out more on Lash Allure. We offer the best-in-class lash products like fans, lashes, and tweezers, made without compromising quality.