About various allergies
There are so many unique things in the world we live in. We eat different kinds of food, come in contact with people and try various clothes and products. Among all this, it is difficult to know or predict if you are allergic to something. That is why it is crucial to find out if you are allergic to something.
While it is difficult to find out if you are allergic to any food, it is easy to find out if you are sensitive to a product that requires topical application, such as skin care products, cosmetics and some medications. You could be allergic to any product - natural or chemical.
This is done via a scientifically proven method called a patch test. While it is recommended to get this test done by a dermatologist, it is simple and can be done at home. You do need to be alert for any signs of allergic reactions that may crop up.
It is necessary to set some time apart to carry out the test correctly. It will take up to 2 days for the test to be completed.
How to do a patch test
Choose a patch of skin
A patch test is usually done on the back but is hard to do at home. So choose an area that is easily accessible to you and has little chance of you washing the product off by mistake. The inside of your arm or your elbow are good spots.
Wash the area thoroughly
Ensure that the area is clean before starting the test. This is to make sure that if you do have a reaction, it is because of the product and not something else.
Apply the product to the clean area
Take some of the product and apply it to the cleaned area as you would normally. Cover it with a bandaid or a clean cloth so you don't accidentally wash it off.
Leave for 24 hours
Leave the area undisturbed for 24 hours. If you experience severe itching or burning sensation, remove the bandaid and wash the area immediately.
The bandaid might cause some redness when removed. So wait for some time. If the redness fades, then you are not allergic to the product. If there is some redness, it means you are mildly allergic. In case there's a rash or swelling or severe redness, you are severely allergic to the product. If this is the case, visit the dermatologist immediately.
A patch test is an easy yet scientific method to help you figure out your allergies. It can even be done at home. Ensure to follow the steps properly and be on the lookout for any adverse reactions during the duration of the test.
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Frequently asked questions:
1. What do you need to do a patch test?
Ans: You just need some of the product that you need to test and a bandaid to cover it. Apply the product as you would normally. Cover it so it doesn’t get washed off.
2. How long does a patch test take?
Ans: While the initial process might only take a few minutes, the end result could take anywhere between 24-48 hours.
3. How do you know if you are allergic to something?
Ans: If you develop slight redness at the test site, it means you are slightly allergic. If you develop a rash or severe itching, you are severely allergic to the product.