Allergy Testing

SkinCare in Wellesley, MA

Allergies commonly affect the skin, causing itching, rashes, bumps, or redness. One of the first steps of addressing your allergies is to test which allergens you are sensitive to. This can also help to determine whether you are suffering from allergies or another condition, such as eczema. Dr. Rashel Goodkin performs allergy skin tests to help you determine your allergens and get started with the best treatment plan for you.

How Are Allergy Tests Performed?

Allergy skin tests are performed in Dr. Goodkin’s office and typically take about 20-40 minutes to complete. There are three methods of allergy testing: skin prick, intradermal, or patch tests. Patch tests are the most common type of testing that dermatology patients receive, as they are usually done to check for contact dermatitis allergens.

In a patch test, the allergen is applied to a small adhesive patch, which is then placed on the skin. Allergens such as fragrances, preservatives, dyes, metals, resins, latex, and medication are commonly tested using this method.

Dr. Goodkin will apply the patches to your arm or back, where they remain for about 48 hours. You should avoid getting these patches wet by bathing or excessive sweating during this period. When you return, Dr. Goodkin will remove the patches and examine the area for allergic reactions.

Allergy Test Results

Patch tests require several days before results can be determined. A positive allergy test is determined by the skin’s reaction to the allergens introduced. Larger wheals can indicate that you are more sensitive to certain allergens. However, understand that false positives are possible after an allergy test; you may react more to an allergen depending on where the test was administered or other stressors on the particular day(s) you undergo testing. Some patients may also react to allergens in the context of the test, but not in everyday life. Dr. Goodkin will carefully evaluate your results to determine whether treatment is necessary.

Treatments for positive allergy test results can include changes in your environment, lifestyle, or diet, medication, or immunotherapy such as allergy shots.

However, most patients with allergic contact dermatitis can simply avoid their allergen. For example, if your patch test reveals an allergy to certain fragrances, you can avoid symptoms by removing scented products like soaps or detergents from your routine.

Who Should Have Allergy Tests?

If you are suffering from allergic contact dermatitis, allergy testing is the first step in relieving your symptoms. Understanding your allergens allows you to choose an effective treatment plan, alongside Dr. Goodkin, that will best relieve your allergy symptoms.

However, patients who have severe or life-threatening reactions, including anaphylaxis, should avoid skin allergy testing. In addition, those who have severe skin conditions on the back or arms, such as severe eczema or psoriasis, may not be good candidates for skin allergy testing. Dr. Goodkin can evaluate your skin and determine whether skin allergy testing is the best option for your care.

Schedule an Appointment

To schedule a skin allergy testing appointment with Dr. Rashel Goodkin, call our office at 781.227.7977 or request your appointment through our online form.