Are You Allergic to Your Eyeshadow? Patch Testing Can Answer That
- Posted on: Mar 1 2018
We’ve all been there. You rush home with the latest makeup or miracle skincare product, tear open the packaging and slather it on – only to develop an angry red rash. If you’re lucky, it’s not hours before a big event or the day before your wedding.
The bad news: once the rash appears it can last for weeks without treatment. But the good news is you may never again have to risk that reaction in the first place! Thanks to a comprehensive skin test, called an allergy patch test, NDDA’s doctors can help you pinpoint exactly which products have the potential to turn you into a tomato before your big day (or night).
What is Patch Testing?
Patch testing is a process that involves taping to your back potential and known allergens commonly found in personal care products, to see if you will develop an allergic reaction. For patients who continuously react to products or feel like they are constantly fighting off unexplained rashes, it’s a great way to identify specific product ingredients to avoid.
Creams, cosmetics, preservatives, metals, even leather and rubber contain chemicals that you are commonly exposed to, and any one of them might be responsible for inflammation or an allergic reaction. Patch testing may be able to help you, with your doctor, identify the exact cause of irritation or allergy, and even customize the products you use every day.
How is patch testing done?
To be carried out correctly, patch testing should be done by an experienced dermatologist using a kit developed for this purpose. The testing process involves 3 visits to your dermatologist, spaced out over a 5-day period.
Day 1: Tiny amounts of the most common skin irritants found in cosmetic products will be applied to your back in a grid-like pattern and fixed in place with hypo-allergenic tape.
Day 3: Patches are removed, and an initial skin reading is done.
Day 4 or 5: A final reading is done to see if any obvious allergies or irritation has emerged.
“I recommend patch testing to patients who come in with rashes that are suspicious for allergic contact dermatitis,” said NDDA’s Dr. Erickson. “If they give me a week, I can give them information that may offer a lifetime of relief. In this case, knowledge truly is power.”
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