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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