Who Should Get a Skin Patch Test and What Should You Expect?

For those who put 10 folks in a room, chances are high one in every of them has some type of eczema. If that individual is you, you in all probability know that it may be uncomfortable—and really tough to deal with. There’s lots to unpack about this widespread pores and skin situation, which isn’t as easy as it could appear. 

For those who’re coping with eczema, it could be effectively price asking a dermatologist a few pores and skin patch check, which may also help decide what—if any—topical components you’re allergic to that could be exacerbating your pores and skin points. Patch testing also can aid you affirm the kind of eczema you’ve got so that you’re higher positioned to deal with it. 

Under, consultants inform SELF when it’s a good suggestion for folks with eczema signs to get a patch check, plus just about all the pieces else it is advisable to know in regards to the course of. 

What’s eczema, precisely?

Excessive-level abstract: It’s not only one factor. “Eczema is an umbrella time period for inflammatory pores and skin situations,” Kristel Polder, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and adjunct assistant professor on the College of Texas Southwestern Division of Dermatology, tells SELF. In keeping with the American Academy of Dermatology, there are literally seven various kinds of eczema. Whereas there are variations amongst them, widespread signs happen throughout the board: Many individuals with eczema develop scaly, itchy pores and skin that may be crimson, purple, brown, or ashy grey in shade, relying in your pores and skin tone, Peter Lio, MD, medical assistant professor of dermatology on the Feinberg College of Drugs at Northwestern College and member of the Nationwide Eczema Affiliation’s Scientific & Medical Advisory Council, tells SELF. 

What most individuals name “eczema”—a rash-like patch of infected pores and skin—is normally atopic dermatitis (AD), Dr. Lio says. (That is the commonest kind of eczema, so it is smart that the 2 phrases are sometimes used interchangeably.) By way of what causes AD: “Plenty of components contribute to atopic dermatitis. For many individuals, there’s a genetic element: a deficiency in a protein often called filaggrin, which ends up in a compromised, ‘leaky’ pores and skin barrier,” he explains. Loads of exterior and environmental components also can come into play, together with climate, weight loss plan, and publicity to sure substances and supplies, Dr. Lio provides. 

Atopic dermatitis is a continual situation with no precise treatment, however there are a number of methods to handle it and maintain it in examine, Hayley Goldbach, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at Brown College, tells SELF.

Contact dermatitis is one other widespread kind of eczema. On this case the pores and skin reacts to a particular set off that triggers the irritation, Dr. Goldbach explains. There’s some extra nuance right here too, as there are two sorts: allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) and irritant contact dermatitis (ICD).1 “Allergic contact dermatitis is a kind of hypersensitivity to a sure allergen that triggers an immune response and causes irritation,” says Dr. Goldbach. 

Irritant contact dermatitis, then again, is an damage to the pores and skin—the immune system isn’t concerned. As a normal rule of thumb, consider irritant contact dermatitis as a bit extra common: If anybody have been to overuse retinoids (which are inclined to trigger irritation, particularly once you first begin utilizing them) or an industrial-strength cleaning soap, for instance, it’s nearly assured that they’ll expertise some extent of pores and skin irritation, Dr. Goldbach says. Allergic contact dermatitis is far more particular person, as a result of it’s brought on by allergens which might be distinctive to every individual.1 (Discovering out what these are is the place a patch check is available in—extra on that in a second.) 

So is there a connection between pores and skin allergy symptoms and eczema?

A extra correct means of it’s by inspecting the connection between allergic contact dermatitis and atopic dermatitis (once more, and please stick with us right here, each situations are forms of eczema). 

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