Do you need to be tested?
Dermatitis is associated with various symptoms such as redness, itching, warmth, swelling, scaling, cracking and pain. If you have persistent, unresolved dermatitis, patch testing may provide the answer.
While detailed patient history is an important piece of obtaining a diagnosis, a patch test is the only way to determine the cause of your allergic contact dermatitis.
Cost of Patch Testing
Patch testing is often covered by insurance providers, including Medicare. Our current charge for most patch test procedures is approximately $1,300. With most insurance providers, you will be responsible for a co-payment fee.
We recognize that it is important to be conscious of the cost of medical care. If you have questions regarding the costs associated with patch testing, please call 602.914.4267.
Negative results are common and can still help diagnose your condition by indicating whether further patch testing is required or whether another cause for your dermatitis should be investigated. Patch testing helps to narrow the potential allergens that are causing your reaction.
If you test negative on the initial testing, you may have to be tested again using another set of allergens.
What To Expect When Getting Patch Tested
Upon arrival, an experienced and knowledgeable patch testing clinician will review your patient forms and conduct a thorough patient history. After detailed discussions, the clinician will determine if patch testing is appropriate and if so, what allergens should be tested. If your clinician finds that you are a good candidate for patch testing, it will take approximately two to three weeks to order your custom patch test panels before they are ready to be tested on you.
The testing process begins when the panels are placed on your back or an appropriate alternative site. Additional tape may be used to help ensure proper adhesion. It is very important that the panels are worn for 48 hours and not removed earlier unless instructed by the doctor.
After 48 hours you will return to the office to have the panels removed. When the patches are removed, some reactions may be visible on the skin. The clinician will ask you to come in for one or two readings after removal, typically 48 and 72 hours after the patches are removed. During these final visits, readings will be conducted to distinguish allergic reactions from irritant reactions. Your patch testing results are typically discussed at your final visit. During your final visit, if a positive allergic reaction is identified, the physician will discuss the particular allergen and offer information and handouts on how to avoid this substance in the future.
During the patch test you must be careful NOT to get the panels or the surrounding skin wet. Moisture can cause the panels to loosen, and the test substances or marking ink could be washed away.
Moisture and Patch Testing
• Do not wet the panels or surrounding skin while bathing. Take sponge baths for the first 48 hours. Do not shower until the patches are removed. After the patches have been removed, avoid getting the areas excessively wet or scrubbing the test site until the final reading.
• Avoid vigorous exercising or activities like sunbathing that may cause you to sweat. Excessive sweating can interfere with your test just like taking a shower.
Before Your Appointment
Please plan to arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to complete the check in process and any additional paperwork.
We welcome new patients to the Contact Dermatitis Institute. Every effort is made to schedule your appointment as soon as possible. Patients interested in patch testing can either book an appointment with our office directly or with a referral through their local physician. In an effort to ensure timely appointments and to maximize your time, please print and complete the following forms before your first office visit:
Patient Information Form
Patient Health History Form
Patient Privacy Form
We will also need to make copies of your insurance card(s).
We strongly value your time. Appointments will be scheduled promptly. Please inform the front desk as soon as you arrive that you have an appointment. Every effort will be made to eliminate unnecessary waiting.
Workers Compensation Patients
If you are visiting our office as a result of a workplace injury or an assessment related to contact dermatitis, please ensure that you bring written authorization that includes the following information:
• Your claim number
• The company name and mailing address
• The adjuster’s name, mailing address and telephone number