Contact Dermatitis & Patch Testing Clinic
Michael P. Sheehan, MD
360 Plaza Drive, Suite C
Columbus, IN 47201
WHAT IS PATCH TESTING?
It is probably better to first know what patch testing is not. Patch testing is NOT a prick test. There are NO Needles involved. Prick testing is useful in the evaluation of hay fever symptoms and hives but not ACD (allergic contact dermatitis). Patch testing is a painless process. In patch testing the potential allergens are placed on the back in the form of small trays and allowed to rest in place for 48 hours.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?
Patch testing requires an office visit on Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the week of your testing. On Monday a personalized set of potential allergens will be selected for your test based on your particular skin problems and potential allergen exposures. This allergen set will be composed of small plastic trays containing the chemicals that are then placed on your back with special tape. The chemicals are left in place until your return visit on Wednesday when they are removed and the site marked. On Friday the test results are taken and a personalized care plan is developed.
WILL TESTING FIND THE SOURCE OF MY RASH?
Allergic skin disease can be very difficult to treat. Finding the allergen trigger is often the most important step in clearing the rash. However, not every patient tested will have a positive reaction. It is important to realize that even a negative test is helpful. A lot of time and money can be wasted avoiding things that do not need to be avoided.
WHAT WILL MY TESTING COST?
Patch testing is a very specialized and involved process which can be expensive to perform. However, it is typically covered by the majority of insurance companies. If you have concerns as to your insurance coverage, please call our office prior to testing so that we can help you evaluate the cost.
HOW DO I SCHEDULE A PATCH TEST?
Our goal is to facilitate the scheduling process. It is our hope that you find it very easy to set up your testing. Simply call our office at 812-376-9686 or 800-964-9344, and inform our staff that you need to schedule a patch test. Amy Grieger is our patch test nurse coordinator, and she will work with you in the scheduling process. If you are being referred for testing by your doctor, then they can call or fax the referral request to help expedite the process.