The Basics Of Patch Testing

Suffering from allergies is beyond frustrating; especially when you don't know what you're allergic to. Although you can try to discover it on your own, it's better to leave all of the testing up to the professionals. One of the most popular forms of allergy testing is called patch testing. If your doctor has recommended this form of testing to you though, you may not know the first thing about it. 

What Is It For? 

Patch testing is a concrete way for your allergist to confirm it is what you are allergic to. By narrowing down exactly what is causing you to have allergic reactions, you will be able to either start on a treatment plan or you will be able to avoid it entirely to prevent against having any adverse side effect. 

How Is It Done? 

Patch testing is done in the doctor's office and then you will be sent home wearing the patches. During your appointment, your doctor will apply allergens to designated and marked places on your back. Then, they will cover each section with a small patch to seal it off. Over the next 48 hours you aren't allowed to touch, remove, or shower with the patches on. the entire 48 hours will give your body enough time to show delayed reactions which is common among some people. During the 48 hours, you can expect your back to feel itchy, swollen, or uncomfortable on certain spots; this is a sign that you are in fact allergic to some of the things that were put on your skin. After the 48 hours is up, you will go back to the doctor's office and they will analyze your back to determine what you're allergic to. 

Why Patch Testing? 

Two of the most common types of allergy testing are scratch testing which typically takes under ten minutes, and patch testing. Although scratch testing can be accurate, sometimes your body will have what is called a delayed reaction. When this happens, scratch testing usually won't show it. However, with patch testing, some allergists feel that it gives them more accurate results since your skin is in contact with the allergens for such a long period of time. 

Discovering what it is that you are allergic to can be a real-life saver and can help you live a happier, more comfortable life. If you want to learn more about patch testing, reach out to an allergist near you. 

For more information, contact companies like Allergy Asthma Specialists.

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