Patch testing is a diagnostic tool used for patients believed to have contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is an itchy red rash that occurs from a chemical or substance coming into contact with the skin. The most well-known example of contact dermatitis is the rash caused by poison ivy, but contact dermatitis can also occur from everyday exposures such as soaps, cosmetics, jewelry, and hair dye.
A patch test is a specific examination to determine the exact cause of an allergic contact dermatitis. It works by placing a small amount of safety-tested substances that are common causes of skin allergies on the skin to see what causes a reaction. Patch testing is simple and painless. The entire procedure takes one week to complete and requires three visits to our office in the same week.
Dr. Kate Holcomb is our board certified dermatologist who performs patch testing at the Lupo Center for Aesthetic and General Dermatology. Dr. Holcomb has gained expertise in patch testing throughout her residency at a national patch testing center, Saint Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center of Columbia University. After her residency, she performed patch testing at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. In 2014, Dr. Holcomb received the American Contact Dermatitis Society Mentorship Award where she spent a week at the largest patch testing center in the United States and further honed her expertise in delayed contact allergy testing. She is pleased to be able to provide more extensive testing for patients in the New Orleans area.