Allergy and Patch Testing
Everything from household cleaning liquids, hair dye, jewelry, or even a favorite perfume could be responsible for the red rashes, itchiness, dryness, or other symptoms experienced by someone with allergic contact dermatitis. The painless process by which patch testing is done makes it a preferred method of allergy testing. Dr. Kia and his highly qualified team use this technique to ensure all potentially problematic substances or allergy “triggers” that could be causing allergic contact dermatitis are correctly identified. To identify just how severe your allergy is, Dr. Kia will use varying amounts of the allergen on your skin to see how it affects you. This also helps understand your tolerance for certain substances. If a certain substance only causes problems beyond a certain threshold, it will help work out whether your day-to-day exposure may prove problematic or if it is something you only need to be concerned about at very high levels.
What Is Patch Testing?
Patch testing is a simple procedure that the doctor will perform to zero in on substances you may come into contact with at your home, your place of work or leisure, or places you otherwise frequent. There is absolutely no need to worry if you’re a bit wary of needles – none are used! Unlike a Prick Test for allergies which is used to check for problems like fever, hives, or asthma, a Patch Test checks for issues from contact with a problematic substance. During the procedure, patches of test substances contained in discs or tiny chambers are secured to your back with hypoallergenic tape. If there is a reaction to a patch it is a sign that you are sensitive to that particular substance. Results might take a couple of days to come back. Allergic reactions typically show up anywhere from 2-4 days after the doctor applies the patches to your body. In some people, this could take longer, even up to a week. Carried out by an experienced doctor, it can be the most efficient way to discover allergic contact dermatitis in an individual. As it is a limited test, it does not help identify food allergies, and also doesn’t test for hives or urticaria. There are alternative tests for those issues.
How Do I Prepare For Patch Testing?
While there is a standard baseline series of allergens that are always tested in a Patch Test, Dr. Kia may also include additional allergens that you may be exposed to given your lifestyle, location of your home or office, or other factors specific to you. This helps identify substances that are problematic for most people as well as some unusual ones that could be triggering reactions in you. For instance, if you live near an industrial zone there could be chemicals in the air not found elsewhere that you are allergic to. There might be a specific kind of cleaning solution you use in the home that causes you problems, or a brand of hair dye you use.
Here’s what typically happens during a Patch Test:
1st Appointment: Dr. Kia or his staff will apply patches to your back. These must not be touched for 48 hours.
2nd Appointment: Typically, about 48 hours later, you will come in to have the patches removed. The doctor will assess reactions(itching, papules, redness, etc) and take readings from the test site.
3rd Appointment: Another reading will be done. During this session, the doctor will typically give you the results and suggest ways to manage the problem. A 4th appointment may be needed in some cases if early readings have not yielded any results.
Patch Testing in Los Angeles, CA
At Allergy & Skin Spa, you have the support of a highly qualified team on your side. Working with our team you’re assured to receive high-quality care and accurate testing to ensure you are able to identify allergens and work out ways to beat the problem. Call our Los Angeles office at (310) 312-1231 or fill out and submit the form below to get started.