Your doctor believes your skin disease may be related to contact with chemicals in your environment. This is called allergic contact dermatitis. The only way to obtain proof of allergic contact dermatitis is by patch testing.
1. Small amounts of selected chemicals that are known to cause rashes in some people are put on little metal disks and applied to clean skin on your back. They will be help in place with hypoallergenic tape.
2. There are no needles, shots, scratches or pricks with these tests. The tests are for allergy or irritation to something touching the skin. These tests are not for sinus, hay fever, asthma, or internal allergy.
3. The patches must stay in place for 48 hours and you cannot get them wet during that time. Your will return here to have the tape and disks removed. Your back will be marked with a special ink pen, and the skin examined to see if it reacts to any allergens. Sometimes a reaction might take longer than two days, so you will need to come back a third time to have your back re-examined.
4. Patch tests are generally very safe. They have been used on thousands of patients, and side effects are rare. Common things patients notice:
Uncommon things we sometimes see happen when we put on patch tests:
Rare things that have been reported
5. Patch tests aren’t perfect. Like many medical tests the results or patch tests must be interpreted carefully. A positive or negative reaction must be thought about along with you history, your dermatitis and knowledge of what comes in contact with you skin. With all of this, the doctor will try to explain what the test might mean to you case.
6. It is impossible to test your skin to every substance that your skin may come in contact with. We test to substances known to cause problems or ones important to your work, hobby or home routine.
7. Please tell Dr. Waibel if you’ve:
• Your doctor believes that your skin disease may be related to contact with chemicals in your environment. This is called allergic contact dermatitis.
• The only way to obtain proof of allergic contact dermatitis is by patch testing. This is different from scratch or pricks testing and does not identify food or inhalant allergies or allergies to oral medications.
• Chemicals will be taped to your back in small chambers. The skin will not be broken. The “patches” stay in place for 48 hours. You cannot shower or do any work or exercise that will wet or loosen the patches.
• The “patches” will be removed, and a reading will be done after 2 days. The patch sites will be marked, and you will be asked to return for a final reading on another day. Between the two readings you can bathe, but you may not wash your back.
• You may develop itching under the patches. If it becomes very sever or if you develop pain, you should try to reach your physician. If he is unavailable, have some one carefully remove the painful patch. Try not to disturb the other patches.
• You may develop blisters at positive sites, and very rarely prolonged reactions or even scars may develop at such sites.
• You will be tested for your response to common chemicals. If you believe that your problem is worsened by an agent or product, even a medication, please bring it with you (and the container with the ingredient list) when you return for testing.
• You should not be tested if you are taking cortisone pills, have had a cortisone injection, are applying cortisone to your back, or have had sun on your back recently. Please tell the doctor if any of these have occurred. Please tell the doctor if you are pregnant. Please call if you have had any problems. Please ask if you have any questions.
• Your tests may be completely negative. This probably means that an allergy is not the cause of your skin problem. The test is not infallible, however, and an allergy may be missed. Retesting in the future may be indicated.