Your skin can have a reaction that occurs when you touch or come in close contact with substances to which you are allergic. Your skin can become itchy, cracked, red, sore and may even bleed. The substances that cause this reaction are referred to as allergens and can be an ingredient in your shampoo, soap, makeup, aftershave, jewelry, medication and your clothing. You may also have a reaction to an allergen in your workplace because allergens are common in cleaning supplies, paper and ink, disinfectants, construction materials and rubber products.
Allergy patch testing is being recommended due to a possible contact allergen that you have come in contact with. Contact Dermatitis is a type of skin irritation that results from direct contact with something in the environment. Common symptoms include rashes, blistering, flaking, and cracking of the skin, usually accompanied by an itching sensation. Allergy patch testing is done to help determine the source of your reaction by direct application of potential allergens. Suspected allergens include the most common 76 in the United States (including preservatives, metals, fragrances, rubber and glue ingredients), as well as more specific allergens that are in medications, textiles, hair products, plants, makeup, fragrances, shoes, sunscreens, metals, food additives, plastics and glues, epoxy, household products and cigarettes. If no reaction occurs in the first North American Series, more specific patch testing series may be performed if needed.
Once patch testing is recommended by your provider, we will call your insurance to see if it is covered. It is highly recommended that you call as well. The diagnosis code is 692.9 (contact dermatitis) and procedure code is 95044. When calling insurance, make sure and document the name of the person that you spoke with. Ask if the procedure is covered, if it will be applied to a deductible, and if you have a co-pay. If you have a co-pay, ask if it will need to be paid all three days. Most insurance companies require co pays all three days. We should obtain your email address and make sure that you are set up on our patient portal system before you leave the office. Once we hear back from your insurance, we will message you on the patient portal system with the coverage benefits that we found out from your insurance. At this time we will also request that you message us back letting us know if you would like to proceed with the testing and when you would like to schedule. If you opt not to use the patient portal system, we will call you but we apologize in advance if we “play phone tag”.
The test will take place on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday of the same week. In order to perform a patch test, the suspected allergens are applied to the upper back with 2”x5” sticker panels with up to 10-12 ingredients impregnated on the stickers. Once the patches are applied on Monday, the area MUST be kept clean and dry until they are removed on Wednesday. A sponge bath is recommended during this time and any athletic activity is not recommended until the patches are removed on Wednesday. You can continue all of your current medications except any systemic steroids or immunosuppressive medications.
At your first reading performed on Wednesday (48 hours), we will trace around the patches with a purple skin marker to mark areas where patches were placed so they can be read again on Friday. After this appointment, you may shower but we ask that you do not scrub your back or use soap on the back. Some people are “late reactors”, which means that reactions may appear on Friday (96 hours) to various allergens that will not appear on the Wednesday visit. The combination of the analysis and results by the provider during the Wednesday and Friday visits allow determination of the most likely allergens involved in triggering of the contact allergy.
On Friday, we will give you a copy of the allergens that you reacted to, how to look for these triggers in order to avoid them, and a list of possible pseudonyms for these allergens in products that you use or are exposed to. A list of all the products that you can use that do not have these allergens will be emailed to you. Please make sure that we have your current email address on file.
711 E Lamar Blvd # 200
Arlington, TX 76011
Mon – Thur | 7:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Fri | 07:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Closed on Weekends