Patch test to diagnose allergy symptoms caused by contact with common irritants

Patch test to diagnose allergy symptoms caused by contact with common irritants

If allergies are suspected in your case, it’s likely you have experienced some skin-related discomfort. Allergies and related conditions frequently have a skin component. Urticaria (hives) has a reported worldwide occurrence of more than 20 percent, and in 2012, it was estimated that 12 percent of almost 9 million kids with allergies had experienced allergic skin reactions in the previous year.

Diagnoses and management of these troublesome symptoms comes down to the skin. These skin-related diagnostic tools include patch testing.

The skin connection

As the largest organ of the body, the skin often tells a lot about what’s going on inside as well as overall health without patients even saying a word. Irritations can manifest themselves on the skin in a number of ways, and generally allergic skin conditions fall under the aforementioned hives, dermatitis, and eczema (atopic dermatitis).

Contact dermatitis gets its name from the irritants or allergens that contact your skin and damage the tissues. Allergic contact dermatitis is frequently caused by triggers such as poison ivy, nickel, perfume, dyes, latex products, cosmetics, or ingredients such as neomycin found in drugs like antibiotic creams.

This type of allergic dermatitis usually shows up as itchy, red, blistered areas. Other types of allergic skin conditions such as hives appear as red bumps and swelling.

How patch tests help

By using diagnostic tests, Dr. Noga Askenazi and the staff can accurately identify the causes of your painful and annoying symptoms. With proper diagnoses, a plan for potential avoidance, prevention, and symptom management can be created.

Patch testing is what it sounds like; a very small amount of the suspected allergen is placed on a patch that is then placed on your skin (like the back). A number of allergens may be safely tested at one time. You will wear the patches as instructed by Drs. Askenazi and Hahn. After the patches have been worn as prescribed, you will return to the Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates and Food Allergy Center of Illinois, so the doctors can then see how these allergens have affected the skin.

A positive skin test may manifest as a burn-like rash. Other reactions may indicate the presence or an irritant or offender; however, reactions like pink discoloration are more uncertain or indicate a lesser reaction to the substance.

Generally, this type of testing is a great alternative to another type of skin testing. Skin prick tests have their limitations for those patients who are experiencing skin problems such as rashes. Since they have limited value for some types of allergies, they are better suited for those individuals with suspect environmental allergens including dust mites, pollens from grass, and animal dander.

Numerous substances can be to blame for your uncomfortable and disruptive symptoms. An allergy patch test can be conducted at our Elgin office to bring the specific cause of your problems to light. The sooner you schedule an appointment by calling (847) 888-8802, the earlier you can start to feel better and get some relief.

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Meredith Cirrincione | Dr. Noga Askenazi

Amy Schack, a distinguished board-certified Physician Associate, brings a wealth of expertise to patient care. Specializing in allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, asthma, and rashes, Amy is renowned for her commitment to excellence and compassionate approach. With a background in immediate care and orthopedics, she holds a Master's in Physician Assistant studies from Midwestern University and a Bachelor of Science from Northern Illinois University. A member of esteemed professional associations, including the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Association of PAs in Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, Amy Schack instills confidence, ensuring you can trust her unwavering dedication to your health and well-being.

Meredith Cirrincione is a board certified Physician Assistant and specializes in treating allergies, with a focus on asthma, rashes, environmental allergies, chemical and food allergies. She holds a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from The Chicago Medical School - Rosalind Franklin University of Health Sciences. She is a Fellow member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants, and the Association of PAs in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. She likes to approach things holistically. She is a strong patient advocate and adored by her patients. She enjoys singing, reading, cooking, and the great outdoors.

Dr. Noga Askenazi is a nationally recognized asthma and allergy specialist who is board certified in pediatric and adult allergy. Her areas of special interest are innovative treatment of rashes, sinusitis, food allergies, asthma and immune disorders. She was past President of the ISAAI (Illinois Society of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology), works on state and national committees for advancement of the allergy field and is a consultant for Advocate, Ascension Health, Northwestern amongst other health care systems. Her joy is helping patients reach their goals after together determining best treatments. Her staff and patients are a chosen family, and she invests in their happiness. She enjoys gardening, biking and cooking to good music.