Patch Testing

Image Dermatology
Rating: 5 5 Star Reviews, Image Dermatologist If you're going to trust your face to a doctor, it ought to be to the best, and Dr. Downie is the ticket. Why? Because she's up to date in her field, she's honest enough to tell you that you're going to look worse before you look better (when procedures take time to heal) and when you when you really mess up your face (like I did in a fall) she walks with you through the healing, checking it along the way. I look as if nothing ever even happened.

I hate waiting for doctors, but I could not be any more grateful for being able to get care from the best doctor in town (and maybe even in the country) when I have an emergency and the kind of treatment I receive at a critical moment in time will affect how I might look forever.
If your appointment was delayed while Dr. Downie was treating me, thank you!
Patch Testing is a diagnostic tool that only 8% of dermatologists in the United States offer their patients. Typically, patients have a contact dermatitis to a specific ingredient or allergen that they have just developed. It is, usually, from a new unknown allergy. The contact dermatitis can be red, crusted, itchy, flaky patches and plaques. It can also look like hives or blisters and patients may complain about burning, itching and pain. Patch testing helps to uncover allergic reactions to different household, beauty and cosmetic products, house chemicals, irritants and or metals. With our superior level of patch testing, we can test for over ninety different substances.

The Patch Testing Procedure

The test is very easy and quite accurate. We will clean and examine the area to be tested, which is, usually, the upper back. The test is not painful and causes minimal discomfort. We apply the patches to a clean back and carefully mark all the areas on a Tuesday. We tape everything up with a medical grade tape. On Thursday, the patient returns to the private practice to get the patches removed and then Friday of the same week the results are evaluated. If you are allergic to any of the substances you may experience itching, redness, or even small reddish blisters. There may be slight discomfort. Only a small amount of the allergen is used, so this is easily treated with topical hydrocortisone cream. The patient is instructed not to wet their back for the days they are patch testing.

When reading your results, you doctor or physician assistant will classify each patch test site from negative (meaning no reaction) to extreme/vesicular reaction (meaning positive results for the allergen). An extreme reaction may even cause vesicles or blisters on the skin. These are treated when the patch testing is finished.

There are three office visits you must come in for during the one-week period. Patch testing is usually, but not always covered by insurance. It is the patient’s responsibility to know their individual health care plan. Patch testing is a great way of figuring out what allergies you may be suffering from so the patient can seek the appropriate treatment. However, as medicine is not an exact science sometimes patch testing does not lead to results that help resolve your rash. The patient can also more easily avoid the offending substance after learning what their unique allergy is due to. Each patient can attain an accurate diagnosis at image Dermatology, and we look forward to helping you and your entire family with their skin care needs.