Monday, March 5, 2012

My Patch Test Experience

Last year my dermatologist referred me to a skin clinic to have a patch test done.  I had stubborn eczema that wouldn't go away, even with cortisone cream.  The eczema started off as two small patches on my neck that later spread to my whole neck, my face, my chest and my right arm.  He wanted me to get tested so that I could avoid whatever it was that was triggering the eczema.  I opted to go through the public system, which meant a longer wait but it also meant that it wouldn't cost me anything.

In January I had the initial consultation with the doctor who would be reading my patch test.  She told me to bring in all the products I used daily and explained to me what a patch test was, exactly.  I knew that sticking things on my back was part of it, but I didn't know that it would be done over the course of 6 days and that I wouldn't be able to get my back wet or sweaty at all for 5 days!  Eek.

In February, on Wednesday the 29th I had my "patches on" appointment.  I took in the products I had been using prior to my eczema appearing (moisturiser and face/body wash, perfumes, my shampoo and conditioner, etc). Before I went in, I had my final proper shower and washed my hair for the last time that week.  When I arrived, the nurse had my patches made up, then applied them to my back.

The non-showering began from this point on.  I didn't think I would be able to not have a proper shower for 5 days, but I managed pretty well.  I simply adjusted my shower head so that it was at waist height and showered my bottom half normally.  With my chest, neck, right arm and underarms I just wet a washcloth and washed myself with it.  I suppose it was kind of like giving myself a sponge bath.  I felt clean enough afterwards, but couldn't get over my back not being clean like the rest of me.  So I still felt "dirty", in a way.

The pre-made patches with 80 of the most common allergens.

The patches applied to my back.

The "bag of goodies" I took in with me to my "patches on" appointment.

The photo patch on my arm (covered with tape).

On Friday, March the 2nd I had another appointment.  The nurse took my patches off and labelled it with sticky tape, then got me to put my left arm with the photo patch (which was a perfume) into a UV booth for five minutes. This was to see if there was a change after exposure to ultra violet light from the sun (as is the case with photosensitivity).  After 20 minutes of having had my back aired out, an initial reading was done.  The nurse had a look and feel of my back to see if I had reacted to anything.

Sure enough, I had a positive result for nickel, and a possible reaction to my shampoo and moisturiser (noooo)!  I was sent home and warned not to scratch my back, even if it got itchy (which it sure did)!  It actually got so bad that my left shoulder and upper back got rather red and inflamed.  I was told to take Clarintyn and Nurofen and to apply a cold compress to the area.  After two hours it settled down and I was able to sleep.
The UV booth I had to stick my left arm in for 5 minutes.

Today, before I was seen by the doctor.
Needless to say, my weekend was uneventful.  I mostly stayed home watching videos and reading.  Even though I was doing my half shower, half sponge bathing routine twice daily, I was started to feel really gross and my hair was in desperate need of a wash.  I very nearly went to a hair salon to have it washed, but laziness and lack of money stopped me.

Today was the day that I finally saw my doctor again, who would do the final reading and tell me the results.  It was a strong positive for nickel, and while I had an initial reaction with the shampoo and moisturiser, it had died down over the weekend (the Clarintyn played a part in that)!  I was given information on how to avoid nickel and advised to switch shampoo and moisturiser because they were both organic and contained essential oils, which may have been the problem.  Nooo!

So that was my patch test experience.  Definately not something I would want to go through again, as the no showering thing really sucked.  But it was a wealth of knowledge and I'm now on the hunt for some decent non-nickel containing jewellery, a new shampoo, conditioner and a new moisturiser.  If you have eczema and want to know what the cause of it is, a patch test may be able to help you avoid a flare up in the future!


  1. Omg wow. :O Do you know if lots of things contain nickel? Will it be hard to avoid? I never thought of that being an irritant before. Good thing you got the test and can avoid it now!

    1. Nickel is commonly found in cheaper jewelry and stuff like bra straps, belt buckles, coins etc. Short term contact (ie. less than 5 mins) apparently won't affect me, it's more if I wear it for hours. Doc told me to stick to anything over 18ct gold as well as stainless steel and sterling silver. I don't buy expensive/good quality jewelry so this is the cause of my problem! I had been wearing cheap studs in my ears! I guess this is my excuse to start shopping at Tiffany & Co, lol :)

    2. Nickel is commonly found in cheaper jewelry and stuff like bra straps, belt buckles, coins etc. Short term contact (ie. less than 5 mins) apparently won't affect me, it's more if I wear it for hours. Doc told me to stick to anything over 18ct gold as well as stainless steel and sterling silver. I don't buy expensive/good quality jewelry so this is the cause of my problem! I had been wearing cheap studs in my ears! I guess this is my excuse to start shopping at Tiffany & Co, lol :)

  2. That looks pretty hectic! Thanks for sharing, I have really sensitive skin so good to know what to avoid!


  3. Thank you for writing about this. I'm in the midst of patch testing right now and already feel miserable. It's only been about 36 hours. I'm afraid that when the patches come off I will not be able to resist the urge to scratch. It's already pretty itchy. I was given permission to wash my hair as long as my back doesn't get wet. I will try it tomorrow morning. I did the same thing as you for showering. After just one day I feel disgusting not being able to wash my back. Gross.

  4. Even using plastic card advances perform should you
    take enough time to produce certain your future cash flow covers your living expenses as well as your new
    charge card payments payday uk besides,
    these installment loans are available on the internet also it's very convenient to use them since the whole application process is performed online.
    my website > payday uk

  5. Without such necessary details, lenders are planning to shy far from committing funds for
    the proposal Payday loans No credit Check sleep specialists classify these as rapid
    eye movement rem sleep and non-rem sleep.

  6. Authorization is also consented to, where the company will take money from the bank account faxless payday loan
    the house was placed on the property by the middle of february and now we were told we might proceed to start planning.

  7. My programmer is trying to persuade me to move
    to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because
    of the expenses. But he's tryiong none the less. I've been using Movable-type on numerous websites for about
    a year and am anxious about switching to another platform.
    I have heard fantastic things about
    Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

    My web site ... how to get pregnant fast

  8. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to
    say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    After all I'll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

    My blog post

  9. Somebody essentially assist to make significantly posts I'd state. That is the first time I frequented your web page and so far? I amazed with the research you made to make this actual publish incredible. Great task!

    My web blog :: viagra

  10. oIf the Get better Bucket is undoubtedly intended for
    operate any Vita Merge blender or food processor, would it prepare much more revenue pick
    up on take advantage of the Sensei product while on the Vita Mix together food processor or blender and/or
    located on the Waring mixer? Highly effective relief has grown essential focus in bow food processor design and development.
    Choosing to analyze blenders I find that nearly they enjoy
    drinks. Generally vegetable or fruit is run using the receiver, macerated while using
    component, along with brought back throughout the come apart
    sections even though beverages then pulp.

    Also visit my weblog - best blender - -

  11. This is actually a particular one certain group, considering it elements
    just not a pizzas oven, but probably a nice smoking barbeque.
    Prove to individuals doing a comparable. Seal your bottle feeding by means of pillow case ingrdient filling
    and merely secure the new lace near the the top to the particular up.

    Feel free to surf to my blog post - oster toaster convection oven (

  12. They told me Canon's position on both these issues.

    Space constraints in most offices today have called for office
    equipment that not only take up the least space, but can also perform multiple functions at the same time.
    More and more people are opting for this water heater.

    Feel free to surf to my weblog ... best deal on canon pixma mg5420

  13. When I originalply commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several e-mails
    with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove
    me from that service? Thanks a lot!

    Feel free to surf to my website - Venus Factor Review

  14. No mɑtteer if some one searches for his neϲessary thing,
    so he/she wisҺes to be availаЬle that in detail, therefore thnat thing is maintained over here.

  15. First of all I would like to say wonderful blog!
    I had a quick question in which I'd like to ask if you do not
    mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind before writing.
    I have had difficulty clearing my thoughts in getting
    my thoughts out. I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted just trying to figure out how
    to begin. Any ideas or tips? Thanks!

    Have a look at my web blog; aspergers and adults (

  16. Hi there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a
    few of the pictures aren't loading properly. I'm not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I've tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

    my homepage; war thunder review ps4; ,

  17. It may be very onerous to mention once exactly ought to be pressured to cash your test.
    check casher Dayton


  18. Your style is so unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this blog. paypal mastercard login

  19. This is yet another cost for your requirements, and it is calculated being a percentage of your total mortgage amount. mortgage payment calculator canada It is important that your Mortgage Calculator be able to include any or all of those repayment options, so that you'll be able to test and compare to discover a strategy that best fits your lifestyle. mortgage payment calculator canada


Thank you for taking the time to comment! If you've asked me something, please check back for a reply :)