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Allergy Patch Testing

Patch testing is carried out to determine if your dermatitis could be caused by an allergy to a particular substance that your skin comes in to contact with. Patch tests are not the same as skin prick tests. The patch testing process involves applying adhesive patches to your skin (usually on your back) which have been impregnated with allergens.

A set of baseline allergens (Australian Standard Series) are applied. You may also be required to have some other specific patches applied. This is something that you and your treating practitioner will decide. The number of patches that are applied determines the cost that you will have to pay.

How does Patch Testing work?

You will require 3 visits to the clinic to have patch testing done. Each visit will take approximately 30mins each.


Visit 1: Application of patches


Visit 2: Removal of patches, first reading and back marked for final reading. Please wear dark clothing to this visit as your skin will be marked with a permanent marker and this may get on your clothes.


Visit 3: Final reading and consult with your treating dermatologist. Your results will be discussed and a plan for the avoidance of any positive allergens will be made.

You will need to keep the entire area dry (you will not be able to shower). Any activity that causes excessive sweating and/or friction should be avoided. If the area becomes wet the test substance could be washed away or diluted, which may cause a false-negative result.

You may experience some irritation and itching, either under the tape or where you are having a positive reaction. If any of the test strips become loose, please reattach with some adhesive tape. Please try and avoid scratching. Scratching can irritate the area and make the itching worse. Scratching may also affect the test area and make the results difficult to read.

Things to Keep in Mind
• Do not apply any steroid cream to the area during the test.
• Oral antihistamine may be taken during the test, please discuss this with your treating practitioner.
• You may be required to bring your own items for testing.
• Occasionally multiple false-positive reactions can be seen, this may result in the need to further patch test these allergens separately.
• The patch tests once ordered will need to be paid for, as these can not be used on another patient and have a very short expiry date. Please carefully consider your availability when booking in for this procedure.

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