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Patch Testing at Skin and Cancer Institute

At Skin and Cancer Institute, we offer comprehensive patch testing for allergens which can cause
irritation, rash, or outbreaks of dermatitis on the skin. Specifically, we can complete an allergen
panel for patch testing of 88 allergens by the North American Comprehensive Series.

The benefit of undergoing an allergy patch test is to identify whether a patient’s skin condition is
caused by or aggravated by an allergen. Patients with dermatitis and rashes can hone on the
cause with patch testing, unlike skin prick tests which are used to diagnose a hay fever allergy.
Skin prick tests are useful in identifying food allergies or environmental allergies such as house
dust mite, grass pollens and cat dander, to name a few. Patch testing goes a step further and
detects the particular cause of the dermatitis or rash outbreak. In order to prevent contact
dermatitis outbreaks, the allergens must be identified in order to be avoided.

During the patch testing appointment, small quantities of 88 different antigens will be placed on
your back in thin chambers. Tape will secure the area and ensure proper occlusion. It must be
sealed and remain sealed on your back for 48 hours. The area must remain dry and free of all
products during the entirety of the testing phase, which lasts approximately 4 to 5 days.

You will return to the office for examination within 48 hours of the patch testing. The tape and
chambers will be removed during that visit so the skin can be examined. For the final portion of
the testing phase, you will return once more within 24-72 hours for a final evaluation of your

To ensure accurate patch test results, we advise against the use of antihistamines and steroids
(prednisone, oral and topical) for fourteen days prior to the application of the patch testing.

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