Contact dermatitis happens when your skin reacts with a red, itchy rash after coming into contact with something. Many people experience this reaction when they touch the leaves or stems of poison ivy, for example. But if you're experiencing rashes and aren't sure what's causing them, scheduling a test with Dr. Gerald Newman, your dermatologist at Bayside Laser and Skin Care Associates in Annapolis, MD can determine the source of your contact dermatitis so you can avoid it. Dr. Newman explains the details of this type of testing here.
What's involved in a contact dermatitis test?
These are often referred to as "patch tests" because your Annapolis dermatologist uses will apply a series of round patches to your upper back that contain different allergens. These are held in place with tape, similar to a bandage, and are left in place for two days. After that, you'll return to Bayside Laser and Skin Care Associates so Dr. Newman can remove the patches and evaluate how your skin reacted to each one; you may need to come back after an additional two days to see if you had a delayed reaction. Areas where the skin is inflamed and swollen indicate an allergy; some may be severe and cause blistering.
What substances are tested?
If the cause of your contact dermatitis is unclear, you may have as many as 25 to 30 different known allergens applied. These can include foods, metals such as nickel, and chemicals that are commonly added to perfumes, lotions, and clothing. Once your allergies are identified, it's important to follow your Annapolis dermatologist's recommendations. Often avoiding the substance is enough to keep allergic reactions at bay, although medication may be needed as well.
To schedule a patch test with Dr. Newman, or for any other skin-related questions, contact Bayside Laser and Skin Care Associates in Annapolis, MD today!