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Patch testing is a specialist procedure carried out by consultant dermatologists. Patch testing can help you to find out whether a skin condition is caused by an allergy to substances (these substances are called allergens) which come into contact with the skin, such as products at home like fragrances and preservatives in face creams, at work or in leisure activities.
By identifying allergens through patch testing, you can then be given advice and help to avoid the allergens.
Dr Clayton undertakes patch testing with his specialist nurse for contact eczema/dermatitis in his private clinics. Dr Clayton has particular knowledge of patch testing in children aswell as adults and published a key manuscript in this field whilst training at Leeds University. Please click here to read this pdf.
Anybody with persistent eczema suspected of having allergic contact dermatitis and/or atopic dermatitis needs patch testing.
Patch Testing helps identify which substances may be causing a reaction in a patient. It is intended to produce a local allergic reaction on a small area of your back where the diluted chemicals were planted. The chemicals included in the patchtest kit are the offenders in approximately 85-90 percent of contact allergic eczema and include chemicals present in metals (e.g. nickel), rubber, leather, hair dyes, formaldehyde, lanolin, fragrance, preservative and other additives.
Dr Clayton uses the TRUE test. The range of allergens covered by TRUE TEST® includes the majority of allergens in the British and European Baseline Series.
TRUE Test is a ready-to-use patch test for finding out the cause of allergic contact dermatitis. The test consists of two strips of surgical tape. Each strip contains 12 polyester patches. Each patch is coated with a film containing a substance which might cause a skin reaction in sensitive people. Such substances are called allergens. Each patch contains a different allergen.
TRUE Test contains 32 of the most common allergens/allergens mixes. TRUE Test works by showing if you are allergic to any of the test substances (allergens) on the patches. If a substance to which you are allergic comes into contact with your skin it causes an inflammatory reaction called contact dermatitis. These substances could be an ingredient in your perfume or aftershave, an ointment or cream, rubber gloves, industrial chemicals, etc.
The substances in TRUE Test are well-known allergens. If you are allergic to the substance in a particular TRUE Test patch, then the skin under that patch will react to it, becoming red and inflamed. If you are not allergic to a particular patch, the skin under it will not react. You may be allergic to more than one patch.