Allergy Testing

If you suspect you have a contact allergy but cannot identify what is triggering your symptoms, contact allergy testing can help pinpoint the specific products that you are sensitive to. At Metro Dermatology, we provide and read patch testing to help patients find the source of their contact allergies.

Metro Dermatology has convenient locations in Bronx, Elmhurst, and Flushing, New York, and Fort Lee, New Jersey. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

What is Patch Testing?

Unlike skin prick or injection allergy testing, patch testing is completely non-invasive.

In order to determine whether specific allergens are causing allergic contact dermatitis, the allergens are applied to a patch and placed on the skin. Anywhere from 40-140 extracts of allergen substances can be applied at once.

The patches are typically worn on the back or arm for 48 hours. This duration not only determines which substances can cause immediate contact allergies but can also identify delayed allergic reactions that may take several days to develop.

What Can Patch Testing Identify?

This thorough method of contact allergy testing can identify allergic contact dermatitis triggered by various substances, including:

  • Latex
  • Medications
  • Fragrances
  • Preservatives
  • Hair dyes
  • Metals
  • Resins
  • Cosmetics

The standard set of substances that patch testing examines may not be widely recognized but are commonly found additives in items like ointments, clothing, leather goods, and other everyday materials.

Before testing, our medical team may request that you bring in your own cosmetics and small samples of other substances you regularly encounter. It's possible to develop an allergy to everyday items, and these substances may be included in another patch during testing.

What Will the Results Tell Me?

After reading the patch test results, our medical team can specify not only the specific substances you're allergic to but also highlight common materials that may contain these allergens. Additionally, our team will provide guidance on avoiding these allergens.

If the results indicate no allergic reaction, contact dermatitis can be ruled out as the cause of your skin issues, and alternative testing methods may be recommended. While this allergy testing method can identify several allergens, it cannot diagnose food allergies or determine the cause of skin conditions like eczema.

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