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Allergy Patch Testing for Contact Dermatitis

Some dry or itchy skin rashes – like atopic dermatitis (eczema) and psoriasis – are genetic, meaning they run in certain families – but other rashes can be triggered by an allergy to a chemical that’s come in contact with your skin: contact dermatitis.

Since 2004, I’ve been offering Allergy Patch Testing in my own Dermatology practice, with Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates, Cordova, TN ( to search for trigger chemical for patients’ eczema. I’ve actually managed to cure many patients of their dependence on steroids for managing their itching by acting like a detective, to help them identify triggers, through Allergy Patch Testing.

So what are the common trigger chemicals for contact dermatitis? At the top of the list are Nickel, certain fragrances like Jasmine, common mixing chemicals in cosmetics and toiletries (called “emulsifiers,” like propylene glycol and dodecyl sulfate), dyes from textiles, and latex ingredients.

Dermatologists can now test for allergies to these chemicals by scheduling what’s called allergy patch testing – involving coming into the office on a Monday of a week when one can return on Wednesday and Friday to get the reading, the allergy patches having been placed upon the patient’s back. This type of skin testing is to be distinguished from prick testing, often done by allergists, which is more focused upon molds, danders, and mildews.

I am a member of the American Contact Dermatitis Society –a group of over 1100 Dermatologists across the country focused on Allergy Patch Testing. Once we identify the culprit chemical, we can identify products that are free of that chemical through ACDS’ national database.

So if you or a family member has been suffering from recurrent rashes or ongoing itching, consider seeing a Dermatologist today. My own practice is with Rheumatology and Dermatology (, 8143 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova TN 38018. Or you can find one of us closer to you who offers Allergy Patch Testing by going to the American Contact Dermatitis Society’s website – – then simply plug your zip code into the Physician Finder.

If you have recurrent itching, be aware that Dermatologists now have new medications – both topical and systemic – including Eucrisa Ointment, Atopiclair, and Dupixent. Never itch in silence. Get evaluated today!

Be aware that I am also President of Big River Silk Skincare Inc., a company that manufactures and distributes exfoliating moisturizers and cleansers to counteract skin aging from the sun, to help people find hypoallergenic producs (SCIENCE SIMPLIFYING SKINCARE™). Check out our GlycoShea Creams and HypoShea Moisturizer Cream (

George Woodbury Jr. M.D. 10/11/2020

Board-certified Dermatologist and President of Big River Silk Skincare Inc.

8143 Walnut Grove Road

Cordova TN 38018




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