Patch Testing Specialist

Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton

Dermatology located in Brighton, MA, Mashpee, MA & Needham, MA

If you develop itchy rashes on your skin or hives, it might be due to an allergy to a metal, perfume, or another substance. At Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton, with offices in Brighton, Needham, and Mashpee, Massachusetts, Mark Amster, MD, and the team can identify what you’re allergic to with patch testing. To learn more about the benefits of patch testing, call the Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton office nearest you today or book an appointment online.

Patch Testing Q & A

What is patch testing?

Patch testing is a type of allergy test that can identify what environmental substances you’re allergic to, so you can avoid them.

The providers at Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton might recommend you for patch testing to determine what substances are causing contact dermatitis, inflammation of the skin triggered by allergies.

Unlike other types of allergies, contact dermatitis doesn’t cause an immediate reaction. Instead, your immune system reacts more slowly to certain substances and causes your skin to become overly sensitive. This increased sensitivity leads to a visible, itchy rash on your skin.

What happens during patch testing?

Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton offers patch testing in a comfortable office environment.

Your provider exposes you to different allergens by applying them to a patch they place over the skin on your upper back. The allergens they use in testing can determine if you’re allergic to substances like:

  • Dyes
  • Nickel
  • Latex
  • Chrome
  • Parabens
  • Fragrances
  • Preservatives

Your provider might test you for up to 30 allergens during the same patch test.

How long does it take to get the results of patch testing?

You can expect to wear the patch for up to 48 hours before returning to the office for an evaluation. During this time, you shouldn’t swim, bathe, or engage in activities that make you sweat. It’s also important that you don’t scratch the patch, even if it gets itchy.

During your follow-up appointment, your provider at Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton removes the patch and assesses your skin. If there’s noticeable irritation, bumps, or blisters on your skin, it can indicate you have an allergy to that substance. The larger the area of irritation, the more severe your allergy may be.

Once your provider understands what substances trigger an allergic reaction like contact dermatitis, they can work with you on strategies to avoid them. They can also provide you with a topical steroid to relieve any discomfort or itching the patch testing causes.

To learn more about the benefits of patch testing, call the Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton office nearest you or book a consultation online today.