Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle can help you identify irritants that can affect your skin. We offer patch skin testing in our Seattle office to identify whether a substance that comes in contact with your skin is causing itching and redness. Dr. Greene's team is trained and experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of medical skin conditions in addition to advanced cosmetic dermatology procedures.
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Itching for Comfort?
Contact dermatitis produces redness and itching of the skin. Patch skin allergy testing can help to differentiate between the following two types of contact dermatitis:
Irritant contact dermatitis: An irritant, such as an acid or alkaline substance, is one that would cause inflammation in almost every individual if it was applied in sufficiently high concentration for long enough. An irritant reaction is caused by the direct contact of an irritant substance with the skin and does not involve the immune system.
Allergic contact dermatitis: An allergic reaction is specific to the individual and to a substance (or a group of related substances) called an allergen. Allergy is a hypersensitivity (over-sensitivity) to a particular substance and always involves the immune system. All areas of the skin that are in contact with the allergen, like poison ivy and latex, de-velop the rash. The rash will disappear if you avoid contact with the substance.
The patch test involves the application of various test substances to the skin under adhesive tape that is then left in place for 48 hours. Another 48 hours later, the skin is examined for any response. This can help the doctor decide which allergens you react to and identify those that could be aggravating your dermatitis. The doctor will then be able to advise how you can avoid the allergens.