What is Patch Testing?
Patch tests are a great tool for identifying responsible contact allergen(s), and also for excluding contact allergens. These tests use extracts of substances known to cause contact dermatitis in some people. Instead of introducing them to the skin with needles, patches with these substances are applied to the skin. Comprehensive patch testing has been demonstrated repeatedly to have a much higher probability of yielding a diagnosis of a specific allergy, compared to limited patch testing, thus leading to a much higher probability of a cure.
Eighty or more antigens are commonly tested with Extended Series Patch Testing, and you may be tested for more antigens depending on your specific situation and risk factors. Examples of additional test panels include: cosmetics, hair care, footwear, fragrances, sunscreens, and corticosteroids.