Contact Allergy Patch Testing - Part One

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My story of allergies and sensitive skin is an intrinsic part of Myroo's story too. The latest addition to my problems has been diagnosed as both pompholyx/dyshidrotic eczema and allergic contact dermatitis.

To get to the bottom of what was causing my skin to react, and to clarify the diagnosis, my dermatologist referred me for patch testing. I'm undergoing testing this week and will blog as the week progresses. I hope the mini series of blog tests will be useful to anyone looking for information on what to expect when going for patch testing.

Today was day one. Patch testing is used to identify any chemicals that you may have a skin allergy to and before my appointment I had received a leaflet giving me an idea of what to expect. I was still a little nervous, though I needn't have worried. The consultant was lovely and asked me lots of questions and answered all mine. He explained the process and spent some time exploring which ingredients could be culprits.

I then had a short wait while the nurse prepared all the chemicals that I was to be tested for. They are applied 8 at a time to adhesive grids. There is a little pocket to hold each chemical separate from the others. I am being tested for 112 different chemicals and chemical mixes, so 14 strips where stuck on my back. Luckily I am tall or the nurse advised I may have had strips on my arms too.

Strips for allergy patch testing

The process was quick and painless. I just had to undress on my top half but I had a robe so was perfectly modest. I was a little surprised that the chemicals were so colourful and also had a smell but given I was being tested for fragrance and colour compounds I should probably have engaged brain!

Back with patch testing strips on

The nurse then applied pen marks so that when the strips are removed each distinct chemical can still be identified. Finally she applied extra micro pore tape over the top to help hold it all in place. The whole process only took a few minutes and then I was free to get dressed.

Patch testing allergen strips with tape

I've had the strips on all day and I'll be honest, it's a little uncomfortable but no more. I can sense a little bit of irritation, time will tell if that is me reacting to some of the chemicals or just the tightness of the tape. I can't shower or exercise for the next 2 days and need to take care not to dislodge the strips. So it is a little inconvenient but I hope it will be worthwhile when we get some answers.

I'll keep you posted on the process over the coming days (You can read about Day 2 of Contact Allergy Patch Testing). In the meantime wish me luck for managing to get some sleep tonight. Any questions, as always do let me know.

 Roo Signature

 Read about day 2 here.








allergies allergy

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  • Hi, wondering how you are doing? Hope its not hideous. :-/

    Lisa Kenton on
  • Hi, wondering how you are doing? Hope its not hideous. :-/

    Lisa Kenton on

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