Patch Test - What Should I Expect?

Could someone please explain whats involved in getting a patch test before laser treatment?

Doctor Answers 2

Laser patch test

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Prior to laser resurfacing, especially in people with darker skin types, a small area behind the ear is treated with laser resurfacing. This is done to see how you heal.

People with sensitive skin or with darker skin can develope delayed healing, or pigmentation or hypopigmentation after laser resurfacing.

Treating a small patch in a non visible area gives your doctor a chance to see how you heal. If healing is delayed, or if you develope hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation then the doctor can decide not to do laser resurfacing on you. It is better to find this out before treating your entire face.

What to expect from a Patch Test

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A patch test is testing what your skin/body reacts to. It could be irritants or allergens. Your doctor probably wants to make sure you are not allergic to any of the substances that he will be using in the procedure. The test involves the application of various test substances to the skin under adhesive tape that are then left in place for 48 hours, after the 48 hours the doctor is able to tell what irritates your skin.

Kimberly A. Henry, MD
Greenbrae Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.