Allergy Tests in Clark, Kearny, West NY, Jersey City, Teaneck and Staten Island
The body can become allergic to a variety of substances, including foods, pollen, dust and much more. While tests conducted in an allergist's office typically evaluate an individual's reaction to consumed substances, such as certain foods, allergy tests in a dermatologist's office focus on substances that come into contact with the skin, such as metals, dyes and preservatives found in various cosmetic products.
How does allergy testing work?
Contact allergy tests work by exposing the skin to various allergens and evaluating the skin's response. If an allergic response occurs after contact with a given allergen, the patient is diagnosed as allergic to that particular substance. Allergic responses may include redness, itchiness, pain and/or swelling in the area of the skin that was exposed to the allergen.
Allergic responses may occur immediately after contact or several days after the initial exposure. If our testing determines that you are allergic to one or more specific substances, you can avoid future reactions by avoiding contact with those items during your daily life. Unfortunately, there is not currently a cure for skin allergies. So avoiding your allergens is the best way to limit the effects of the condition.
Who is a candidate for this procedure?
You may be a candidate for testing if you believe you have a skin allergy to one or more substances. If you have experienced any of the symptoms of an allergic reaction in the past, there is a good chance that you've found the culprit. Tests can be performed on men, women and children. It is an outpatient procedure, but requires follow-up visits to the dermatologist's office to review and discuss the results.
What's involved in allergy testing?
During testing our physician or assistant will place various patches against your back. Each of these patches contains a specific allergen and is marked accordingly. After 48 hours, you will return to the office and the patches will be removed. Our dermatologist will then record the results. In some cases, you may need to return to the office again in a few more days to evaluate any reactions that occurred during the extended period of time. NOTE: Your back must remain dry until all testing is complete, so no bathes, swimming or showers.
What are the advantages of allergy tests?
- They identify the substances that cause an allergic reaction so that you can avoid or limit future exposure.
- Patches can be applied quickly, so there is no need to spend hours in the doctor's office.
- You can go home immediately after the patches have been applied.
- Patch allergy tests rarely cause severe allergic reactions and are non-invasive.
- Any allergic reaction experienced during the patch test will resolve after the patches have been removed.
Will I need follow-up treatments?
Usually, a single allergy test is sufficient. However, if you believe you have developed additional allergies or that your allergies have changed over time, you can have another patch test at a later date. Contact Metropolitan Dermatology to schedule an appointment for your allergy tests.