Patch Testing

nova-servicesNova Medical Center is pleased to announce the launch of our Patch Testing Service.

Patch testing is a specialist procedure carried out by a consultant dermatologist who has a special interest in occupational/contact dermatitis.

It can help your referring doctor/specialist determine if your skin condition is caused by an allergy to substances (these substances are called allergens) which come into contact with your skin, such as products at home, at work or in leisure activities.

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Who needs Patch Testing?

  • Anyone with a reaction of suspect allergen applied to the skin from home/work environment eg hair dye, sunscreens, cosmetics, jewellery, medicaments, cement, rubber etc.
  • Anyone with a chronic skin disease like eczema (dermatitis), rosacea, vulval/perianal disorders that are recurrent and/or poorly responsive to treatment.

Patch Testing is not indicated for urticaria (hives), angioedema or food allergies.

What does patch testing involve?

You need to book a preliminary appointment to see the Consultant. A detailed history and examination will be performed.

Please bring the products/data sheet from your work environment, of what you may have been exposed to or what you suspect are potential allergens. Also bring creams/cosmetics, toiletries, hair products, medicines. You will need to bring the container and the package. If you have disposed of any suspected products, please try to recall the appropriate names. It is not necessary to bring cleaning agents.

The decision will then be made of what you can be tested to, and you will be given an appointment date for patch testing, so that you can make appropriate work/travel arrangements.

On the week of patch testing, there will be three clinic appointments.

The first two visits will be at Nova Medical Center.

On the first visit (Monday), allergens will be applied to your back in a small chambers with a hypoallergenic adhesive tape. Your back will be marked to identify the sites of the allergens.

Try to resist itching, as the allergens will need to be in contact with your skin for 48 hours. Please allow 1-2 hours for this visit. At least 40 allergens will be applied on your back. Fewer allergens for children. More allergens depending on your previous exposure.

At your second visit (Wednesday), the patches are removed, with any reactions identified. Sometimes more allergens may be added and further marked. Please allow 45mins for this appointment.

On the third visit (Friday), a final reading will be made. Any reactions will be interpreted and discussed with you. You will be given relevant information on avoidance.

Some reactions can take longer and you may rarely require another appointment to examine your back.

Sometimes patch testing can be negative. This can be reassuring so that you do not necessarily have to avoid certain products.
You need to avoid getting your back wet as in swimming, showering and sweating during rigorous exercise.

Further information will be given during your consultations.