UT Health Physicians

Patch Testing

Related to: Skin allergy testing, sun allergy testing, skin irritant testing, contact dermatitis testing, photo patch testing

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Patients and area doctors rely on UT Health San Antonio's board-certified dermatologists to provide and accurately interpret specialized patch tests to determine the cause of skin irritations.

Patch testing is very helpful for evaluating chronic skin problems, dermatitis, and eczema that are not being solved by the patient’s current treatment plan. Our dermatologists may recommend patch testing to determine whether a patient is allergic to something that comes into contact or is being used on their skin. Most skin allergens are found inside products used during their daily skin care. Without knowing they are allergic, patients continue to apply the product to their skin which continues producing an allergic reaction.

UT Health San Antonio Dermatology offers a more expansive series of skin tests than many other dermatology practices. We are able to test 65 of the most common allergens, as determined by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group. This provides our patients more comprehensive and complete testing when compared to the TRUE test screening series often used by other practices - which only tests 35 allergens and can miss up to a third of relevant allergens. We also provide photo-patch testing when it is suspected an allergen is causing irritation when combined with the sun's effects, resulting in a skin condition more evident on areas of the body that are exposed to the sun.

Unlike the allergy testing conducted for seasonal allergies, patch testing does not require skin pricks or needles. Patch testing involves three appointments within a single week — usually Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

At the first appointment, a small amount of each allergen is applied on top of the skin on the patient’s back. After two days, the patient returns to our office to have their skin evaluated by one of our board-certified dermatologists. Another two days later, the patient returns once more to have their skin evaluated for the final evaluation and interpretation of results.

The broad testing we use can reliably identify the potential cause of a skin allergy. This way, our patients can avoid the allergen causing the problem and eventually heal their skin. Patch testing is very helpful for evaluating chronic skin problems, dermatitis, and eczema that are not being helped by the patient’s current treatment.

Make an appointment with a dermatologist

We are now accepting new patients. Please call 210-450-9840 for more information or to make an appointment.