Did you know that eczema can sometimes be caused by allergies? While the exact cause of eczema is often unknown, in some cases it appears to be caused by allergies. If you have eczema that resists treatment, you may need to go through allergy testing to determine if that is the cause. If so, treatment options for allergies are available that can reduce or eliminate eczema. One of the most common ways to test for allergies is patch testing.
What Is Patch Testing?
Patch testing is a form of allergy testing that is designed to determine if a specific allergy is causing skin irritations such as eczema. The suspected allergen is infused in a patch that is placed on the skin. One or more patches may be used at a time. If there is a particular allergen that is suspected, you may only have a few patches. However, it is not uncommon to have 20 to 30 patches at once.
What to Expect at Your Appointment
Your doctor will first try to determine the potential allergens that should be tested, based on your lifestyle and environment. They will then formulate the patches and place them on your skin. At your next appointment, usually only a couple of days later, the patches will be removed, and the doctor will examine your skin for an allergic reaction.
Wearing the Patches
It is important that you do not bathe or do any activity that will cause excessive sweating while you are wearing the patches. You must wear them without removing them for at least 48 hours. If your doctor cannot schedule your follow-up appointment within 2 days, they may give you the patches and instruct you to put them on 48 hours before your next appointment.
If you have been fighting eczema and want to see if it is an allergic reaction, contact us today for more information about patch testing or to schedule an appointment.