Patch Testing

Patch testing is a specialist procedure carried out to find out whether your skin condition is caused or aggravated by an allergy to substances which have come into contact with your skin. This is called contact allergy which is a ‘Type 4 allergy’. Substances that cause an allergic reaction are called allergens and they can be found both at home and work.

Patch testing is arranged when appropriate after an initial consultation with one of our specialist dermatologists. Our patch testing service is run by consultant dermatologist Dr Niki Hart.

Patch testing is not used to investigate food allergy or other ‘Type 1 allergies’ such as to dust, pollen and animals.

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How Do Patch Tests Work?

You will need to attend for appointments on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

On your first visit we will review your history and discuss your work and social activities, before choosing appropriate allergens to test. A nurse will then apply several small discs containing the substances to be tested and attach the ‘patch’ to your back using hypoallergenic tape.

The substances will remain taped in place for 48hrs or until your second visit to the nurse, when they will be removed, and any reactions are noted. Additional patches may be applied at this visit

On the third visit your back will be examined by your consultant dermatologist who will discuss any reactions with you.

The skin patches are applied to your back for practical reasons. It is the biggest surface area of skin and the patches are more likely to stay in contact there, but we do occasionally use upper arms.

At St Michael’s Clinic, Shrewsbury, we deliver both NHS and private patch testing services. We have a comprehensive range of allergens available. Some allergens are used in virtually every patient whilst some are selected depending upon the nature of your skin complaint. Additional series of allergens include:

  • Rubber chemicals
  • Textile and leather dyes
  • Cutting oils
  • Cosmetic and hairdressing ingredients
  • Epoxy resins
  • Medicaments such as topical steroids and antiseptics
  • Fragrances and essential oils
  • Plants
  • Dental materials
  • Metals
  • Sunscreens
  • Plastic materials
  • Shoe components
  • Glues

Contact Us

If you would like to speak to us, fill in the form or call us on 01743 590010.

St. Michael's Clinic
St. Michael's Street

Contact Details
Telephone: 01743 590010
Fax: 01743 590017
Email: [email protected]


Why choose St. Michael's Clinic?

Here at St. Michael's Clinic, Shrewsbury's leading private skin and laser treatment clinic, our experts are specialists in all aspects of dermatology, skin cancer, anti-ageing and beauty treatments. We are able to offer NHS patients a consultant led dermatology service from our three sites in Shrewsbury, Much Wenlock and Donnington (Telford).

St. Michael's Clinic is regulated by the Care Quality Commission, ensuring the best level of treatment is provided to you in a safe environment. Our Clinical Lead Dr Stephen Murdoch is a member of the British Association of Dermatologists, the British Laser Medical Association and the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. We are part of the Dermatology Partnership, a leading group of dermatology clinics, defined by clinical excellence and focusing on leading dermatological care.

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