The skin is an amazing organ, that does so much for us, including protecting us from the environment. In all of us, the environment still manages to find a way to affect our skin. An example is photo-ageing, where years of day-to-day sunlight accelerates the skin aging process, causing fine lines and pigment changes. Some people can be allergic to aspects of their local environment, such as the preservatives in their shampoo, the dyes in their underwear, the leather tanning agent on their car steering wheel or a component of their sunscreen product. This is called allergic contact dermatitis. This condition can cause a variety of itchy rashes that can persist even if only coming into contact with the offending agent once every few days.
Patch testing is an objective way of investigating people with such allergies and is one of the key services offered at Darwin Dermatology. It involves the application of very small amounts of possible causes for the rashes on your back on a Monday, removed and an initial assessment performed on Wednesday and a final reading on Friday.