Finding the Source of Your Contact Dermatitis

You know how sometimes you meet a person and you instantly don’t like them? Your body has a similar reaction to certain substances — it doesn’t like them at all. But unlike your ability to walk away from a person, your body has what is called allergic contact dermatitis (ACD), a skin condition where you develop patches of eczema (also known as dermatitis) as a response to a specific substance.

At Matsuda, it’s our job to find what the substance is that’s bugging your body and causing ACD. To do that we use patch testing.

What happens with allergic contact dermatitis?

Allergic contact dermatitis is an allergic reaction. People often think of allergic reactions to things such as pollen or pet dander. But your body can have an allergic reaction to all kinds of different things. ACD can be triggered by something you have no idea is even in a product. Certain chemicals commonly found in cosmetics, skin creams, rubber, leather, or metals can trigger ACD.

When the allergic reaction is triggered, the patient develops patches on the skin that are red, inflamed, and often itchy. Often they’ll blister. This is your body’s immune system responding to what it perceives to be an attacker.

What is patch testing?

The mystery is finding out just what substance, chemical, or whatever is causing the reactions. This is the job of patch testing at Matsuda. Patch testing is necessary because most people have no idea what they have allergic reactions to. This is especially true of chemicals that are just one ingredient in something as seemingly benign as the skin lotion.

What we test for

At Matsuda, our patch testing tests for the most common substances associated with ACD. These include:

  • Cobalt
  • Epoxy resin
  • Balsam of Peru
  • Ethylenediamine
  • Formaldehyde
  • Neomycin
  • Paraben mix
  • Plants
  • Formaldehyde resin
  • Wool alcohols (lanolin)
  • Quaternium-15
  • Nickel
  • Fragrances
  • Clioquinol
  • Rubber accelerators

How we patch test

To patch test, small amounts of various potential allergens are applied to the skin on a patch and left there for two days with hypoallergenic tape. If you are allergic to a particular allergen, this will produce a positive patch test reaction that will be checked between two to seven days after application of the patch.

Then, once we know what has been bugging your body, we clue you in. This includes the myriad products that contain said ingredient and how you can avoid them in the future.

Let’s get to the bottom of those allergic breakouts. Call us at Matsuda, 808-949-7568 and ask about patch testing.