Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates/Food Allergy Center of Illinois uses various techniques for diagnosing allergies. In many cases, a simple procedure called a prick test (or scratch test) can be performed and yield results the same day. However, in some cases a different kind of skin testing, known as patch testing, is needed. It takes a couple of days to provide results.
Patch testing is usually used to detect allergic reactions to substances such as poison ivy, household chemicals, metals, and their substances. It may also be used to diagnose food allergies. Using this technique, we can test for allergies to as many as 60 different substances at the same time.
The test is very simple and accurate. First, we will examine and clean the area to be tested, which is usually the upper back. Small samples of potential allergens are placed on your skin, and secured with a waterproof, medical-grade tape. The patches are well sealed, so they should not interfere with normal daily activities. However, it is important to follow any instructions that you are given by your doctor.
We will examine the tested skin and record data after you have worn the patches for 48 hours, and again after 72 hours. The information collected will help us determine if allergies to any of the tested substances are likely to be responsible for your symptoms.
Patch testing is painless, and causes minimal discomfort. However, you may experience itching under the patch. If you are allergic to any of the tested substances, you may develop redness, small welts, or occasionally small blisters. However, these are easily treated because a very small amount of the allergen is applied, and the area of contact is carefully confined by the small patch. A reaction to the patch test is a very good indication that we have identified the source of the problem, which is the most important step in solving it.
If you believe that you may be suffering from allergies, it is important to attain an accurate diagnosis, and seek appropriate treatment. You can count on the phenomenal team at Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates/Food Allergy Center of Illinois to deliver state-of-the-art care, with compassion and respect. For your convenience, we have two beautiful offices located in Crystal Lake, and Elgin. Call us at (847) 888-8802 and schedule your appointment today.