Allergy & Asthma Center Islamabad

Skin Care By Shahid Abbas

International ALLERGY Education Resources

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Patch Test

Patch Test FAQs

Q: How is Allergic Contact Dermatitis treated?

A: There is no cure for Contact Allergy. Topical steroid creams and ointments may reduce the itchiness of the rash caused by contact allergies, but the only way to stay clear of Allergic Contact Dermatitis is to altogether avoid the hapten that is causing the eczema.  


Q: How do I look for haptens in products?

A: Make a habit of always reading the list of ingredients of products that you are using. Memorize the chemical name as well as possible trade names of the hapten that you are looking for. Possible synonyms for each haptens are available in our database.

Remember that terms such as “unscented” and “hypoallergenic” are unregulated and are not equal to “fragrance free” and “will not cause allergies”.


Q: A previous Allergy Test showed no allergic reaction, could I still have Contact Allergy? 

A: Yes. Although the name suggests otherwise, Allergy Testing (Prick Testing / Intradermal Allergy Testing), does not test for skin allergies (contact allergies) but for food and respiratory allergies. Contact allergies can only be diagnosed by Patch Testing.


Q: Will my Patch Test results show if I am allergic to pollen, foods and pets?

A: No. As Patch Tests do not work in the same way as Allergy testing (Prick Testing / Intradermal Allergy Testing) a Patch Test can not test for respiratory allergies.


Q: Is my skin condition Allergic Contact Dermatitis?

A: A possibility of Allergic Contact Dermatitis (either as a sole skin problem, or complicating another skin disease) should be considered if:

  • Your dermatitis/eczema always (or frequently) becomes aggravated after a skin contact to particular objects (e.g. a pen, toy, shoes) or substances (e.g. hand cream, perfume, metal working fluid at your work etc.)
  • Your dermatitis/eczema is restricted to, or more pronounced in the areas of the body that were in most contact with the given object or substance.
  • Your dermatitis/eczema clears or improves during holidays, and relapses after returning back to your home or work.
  • Your dermatitis/eczema is mainly located on the hands, around the eyes, or in the genital area.
  • Your dermatitis/eczema lasts longer than 3 months, even if another diagnosis has already been established (other chronic inflammatory diseases of the skin may enable the penetration of sensitizers and promote sensitization).


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