Your skin is your largest and most visible organ. If you struggle with rashes, redness, itching, or other allergic symptoms, you may wonder what’s causing the symptoms and how to avoid that substance or substances.
Patch testing for allergens takes the guesswork out of finding products that don’t irritate your skin. At SINY Dermatology, our expert dermatologists recommend patch testing so that you know, definitively, which substances to avoid to keep your skin beautiful and comfortable.
Patch testing is comprehensive
When you come to us for a patch test, we don’t just test one or two ingredients. We expose your skin to up to 30 ingredients that could stimulate allergic reactions, including:
- Hair dyes
- Cleaning ingredients
We administer just a small amount of an ingredient onto a patch and then apply the patch to your skin, usually on your back or arm. You wear the patches for about three days. Avoid bathing, showering, swimming, or sweating while the patches are in place.
You return to our office, where we remove each patch. When we see skin irritation underneath a patch, that means your skin is allergic to that ingredient or substance and that you should avoid it.
Patch testing gives you answers
After your patch test, you have a comprehensive understanding of what kinds of products and ingredients you can tolerate and which you should avoid.
We recommend skincare, hair care, and other types of products that don’t have the ingredients you’re allergic to, so you can minimize the chance of another outbreak.
Patch testing is particularly important if you have eczema or another skin condition that increases your sensitivity.
Finding out what you’re allergic to and then making lifestyle changes that allow you to avoid the allergens can decrease your need for medication. In some cases, you may be able to do without medication altogether.
Prepare for your patch test
Certain drugs interfere with patch test results. When you come for a skin allergy consultation, we first take a comprehensive medical and family history, including whatever medications you use.
To ensure the most accurate results, we may ask you to discontinue your medications for up to 10 days before your patch test. Types of medications that affect patch test results include antihistamines and heartburn remedies.
Take care of your skin
After you get the results of your patch test, you have a much clearer idea of which ingredients you can tolerate and which you can’t. But you must also take good care of your skin and treat it well so it can do its job of acting as a barrier to pathogens and other substances.
We recommend that you:
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
- Wash with gentle, non-irritating cleansers
- Use warm, not hot, water in baths and showers
- Moisturize every day
- Eat a healthy whole-foods diet
- Get plenty of exercise
If you think you have skin allergies, get the answers you need to make the best choices for your skin. Contact us about patch testing today by phoning the nearest of our five offices, or booking an appointment online. We have New York City locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Forest Hills, Queens.