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Private allergy testing manchester

Allergy testing is one of the popular services at Everything Skin. Allergies are very common and it’s predicted they affect one in four people in the UK at some point in their lives. They are more common in children and whilst some allergies disappear as the child grows, many allergies persist life-long. Adults can also develop new allergies to products that wouldn’t have affected them previously.

An allergy is a response of your immune system becoming hypersensitive to certain substances in the environment. Any substances that can cause an allergic reaction is an ‘allergen’.

Common allergens tested during allergy testing.

  • Pollen
  • Dust Mites
  • Food: i.e nuts, shellfish, eggs etc
  • Animals – Particularly the fur
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Medications
  • Latex
  • Mould
  • Household Chemicals

If you do not have an allergy to any of the items listed these substances would be harmless to you.


Allergies develop when the body’s immune system reacts to a substance as though it’s harmful. It’s not clear why this happens and there isn’t one definite cause, however, allergies are often placed into categories for risk factors, these are ‘host’ and ‘environmental’

In recent years, there has been an increase in the incidence of allergic disorders that are not related to host factors alone. Environmental factors include any allergies that are the result of your surroundings. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Pollen
  • Environmental Pollution
  • Certain chemicals/ substances
  • Medications
  • Dust

The host factors include anything that might increase the risk of developing an allergy, these include:

  • Heredity/ Genetics
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Age


Here at Everything skin clinic™ we offer a range of allergy testing to our patients with skin allergies. These include Patch tests and Prick tests-for patients suspected to have contact dermatitis.

Patch testing is a procedure to find out whether your skin condition is a result of substances which have come into contact with your skin. This is known as a contact allergy. Substances that cause an allergic reaction can be from home, at work or in leisure activities. This type of allergy testing does not test for food allergies. Food allergies are tested through a blood test or prick test.

It is important to determine whether there is an allergic component contributing an eczematous reaction. Avoidance of relevant allergen(s) can be key in the management of the rash. It is possible that your patch tests will be negative, but this is helpful to your doctor as we can rule out contact allergy as a cause of your skin problem.

Patch testing involves four visits to the service. The first appointment is for an assessment and the three other visits all occur in the same week, usually but not always on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The initial visit is for an assessment where we will ask specific questions to individualise the test. Please bring your medication list to this appointment. At that visit, you will have the opportunity to book the dates of the test, which we will carry out on three days of the same week. On your first visit, we will apply each substance that needs testing to your back in special small discs (about 1cm in diameter) containers held in place by hypoallergenic tape. The substances will remain taped in place until your second visit, where we will then remove the taping and take note of any reactions. On the third visit, we will examine your back and we will discuss any reactions with you.

Positive reactions to a substance will include red and itchy skin around the substance area. These become more obvious by the third visit (final reading), although a reaction can occasionally take up to two weeks. Some substances may stain the skin; this is normal and will wash off after a couple of days with showering or bathing.


Keeping the patches dry is the most important aspect of accurate patch testing.

Water or moisture of any description will often cause the allergens to dissolve out of their chambers and often make results difficult to interpret.

For the whole 4 to 5-day testing period whilst the patch tests and ink markings are on your skin:


  • Get the patches or markings wet in the bath or shower
  • Work up a sweat by exercising too hard
  • Go swimming
  • Wear pale or valuable clothing as the ink may stain it
  • Expose yourself to sunlight
  • Take immunosuppressive medications (If you already taking these, patch testing is not likely possible as the results will be suppressed)

If the area becomes itchy, try not to scratch.


  • Use the shower cautiously and attempt to sponge wash yourself whilst keeping the patches/markings out of the water flow
  • Shower on the morning before your patch test (as you won’t be able to have a proper shower for at least a further 96 hours)
  • Enjoy a holiday from exercise or sport that causes you to sweat
  • If you notice a patch coming away, try to tape it down yourself
  • Contact the clinic if you have questions or concerns
  • Remember, these restrictions and recommendations need to cover the entire period from the first visit right through to the last, or the results may be invalidated

If you have a positive allergy, the biggest side-effect people suffer with will be itching. Sometimes you can also get an irritant reaction under the tape and this is also itchy.

  • Occasionally reactions can become red, swollen or even blistered
  • In strong positive allergies persistent reactions may occur which take a few weeks to disappear
  • Eczema may flare up in the presence of positive patch test
  • Inflammation can cause pigment change which may lighten or darken and sometimes lasts for a few months but is rarely permanent

Patch testing is not advisable if you:
• are pregnant or breastfeeding
• have extensive eczema on your back
• have been exposed to the sun or have used a sun bed over the previous 2 weeks
• have recently applied an artificial tan
• are using moderate or high dose oral steroids

It is not possible to apply test patches if the skin on your back is scratched, sun burnt, has a rash or excessive hair growth. If you do have excessive hair on your back, please have the area shaved before your appointment.

Avoid using antihistamines for 48 hours before and during the patch testing period as this would reduce any visible reaction to the allergens.


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dermatology specialists



At Everything Skin Clinic™, we have a team of highly trained Consultant dermatologists, who have completed specialist training in Dermatology and are on the specialist register of the General Medical Council. All our consultants hold substantive contracts with the best Dermatology centres in leading NHS hospitals. Therefore, you can be certain of the highest quality private allergy testing Manchester

We offer a range of treatments and can offer one, or a combination of treatments to achieve the best results. Unlike many other clinics, we can offer diagnosis and treatment all under one roof by expert consultant dermatologist, so you know you’ll be in safe hands.


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