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Allergy Patch Testing Specialist

Allergy and Clinical Immunology Medical Group

Allergy & Immunology located in Santa Monica, CA

Cracked, red, flaking, and itchy skin can be signs of contact dermatitis, an allergic reaction that happens when something you’re allergic to touches your skin. With custom patch testing from Bernard Geller, MD, Ph.D., and Sanny Chan, MD, Ph.D in Santa Monica, California, you can figure out what’s causing your symptoms and get relief. The Allergy and Clinical Immunology Medical Group offers comprehensive testing for the most and least common allergies so you can get rid of the itching, redness, and discomfort for good. Schedule a visit online or by phone today.

Allergy Patch Testing

What is custom patch testing?

Custom patch testing is used for products that cause allergic reactions when they touch or come into contact with your skin. The most common symptom in contact dermatitis is a red, itchy rash that lasts until the item is removed from your skin. Other symptoms of contact dermatitis include:

  • Warmth
  • Swelling
  • Scaling or flaking skin
  • Cracked skin
  • Local pain

Custom patch testing involves placing small panels that contain allergens onto your back for two days. After the first 48 hours, the patches are removed and Dr. Bernard and Dr. Chan assess your skin for signs of a reaction. A follow-up assessment is performed at 72 hours to determine if your reaction has worsened or improved.

When is custom patch testing recommended?

Custom patch testing is recommended if you experience signs of contact dermatitis caused by:

  • Chemicals
  • Metals and jewelry
  • Hair dyes
  • Cosmetics
  • Antibiotics, corticosteroids, and other medications
  • Perfumes
  • Rubber chemicals and latex
  • Dental materials
  • Metal implants

In some cases, contact dermatitis resolves after you remove the allergen from your skin, such as wearing jewelry that contains metals, like gold or silver. Other allergens can produce longer lasting symptoms that can take several days or weeks to resolve. If this is the case for you, the doctors can provide at-home recommendations and prescription medications to calm the allergic reaction and relieve your symptoms.

What are the benefits of custom patch testing?

The standard patch test contains 36 of the most common types of contact allergens. However, custom patch testing allows for more extensive and precise testing to identify exactly what’s causing your symptoms.

Dr. Bernard and Dr. Chan may recommend that you bring in products that you suspect are causing your symptoms, such as creams, soaps, and cosmetics, for analysis in order to determine which substances to use during your patch test. Patch testing can take some time to complete as you may be allergic to multiple substances, which may require multiple patch tests.

Based on your reactions to the patch test, the doctors can provide you with recommendations for alternative or hypoallergenic products. If you’re consistently exposed to an allergen while you’re working, the doctors provide medical documentation for your workplace to modify your work tasks and prevent the risk of contact during your workday.

To schedule a custom patch test and figure out what’s causing your allergy symptoms, request an appointment online now or call the Allergy and Clinical Immunology Medical Group.