Dr. Costanza Dermatologist, Columbus, OH

Dr. Andrea Costanza is Signature Dermatology’s specialist in Patch Testing for contact dermatitis!
Contact dermatitis is a condition that occurs when your skin comes into contact with something in your environment to which you are allergic. Patch testing helps identify a substance (allergen) that causes allergic contact dermatitis on your skin. 
Multiple small disks are placed on your back (day 1), containing small amounts of substances to which you may be sensitive.  After 48 hours (day 3), the patches are removed, and we examine your skin for reactions.  We recheck your skin again 96 hours, (day 5) after the tests are placed.  
This testing does not involve scratches or pricks to the skin and does not generally test allergies to foods, oral medications or things you may breathe in (fumes, grasses, ragweed, and so on).

During your first appointment, a series of usually 70-90 dime-sized disks are applied to your upper back.  Each disk contains a different substance, and they are applied in strips of ten on a 2 x 5 inch adhesive strip.  These patches are then further secured with hypoallergenic tape. You will be instructed to keep your back dry the entire period of testing.  You may experience itching under the patch tests.  In general, this is tolerable and only lasts while the patches are in place.



After 48 hours, you have a scheduled return appointment to have the patches removed and read for the first time.  We will look for reactions, such as redness, blisters, or swelling.  If an area is reacting, you may experience itching or burning at that specific site.

After 96 hours, you will have your final appointment.  At times, we may ask you to come back one additional time if a reaction seems to be more delayed than usual.  Sometimes a person does not develop any positive reactions.  Remember even if your testing is completely normal, this is still helpful information that may help to make your diagnosis more clear.

If the patch testing reveals you are allergic to a substance or substances, we will give you information about the substances to which you reacted and guidance on how to avoid those things. Dr. Costanza is a member of The American Contact Dermatitis Society. She has access to a large database of products of which your skin comes into contact with and which contact allergens they contain, so you will leave knowing exactly which products are safe to use on your skin. 

Contact dermatitis is often diagnosed in health care professionals or in occupations which involve repeated use of cleansers, chemicals or other harsh substances. Below is a chart with common professions which may be more likely to be affected by contact dermatitis.


List of Allergens Encountered in Various Occupations
Agriculture workers
Rubber, oats, barley, animal feed, veterinary medications, cement, plants, pesticides, wood preservatives
Turpentine, pigments, dyes, colophony, epoxy resin
Automobile and aircraft industry workers
Chromates, nickel, cobalt, rubber, epoxy and dimethacrylate resins
Bakers and confectioners
Flavours and spices, orange, lemon, essential oils, dyes, ammonium persulphate and benzoyl peroxide.
Orange, lemon, lime, flavours
Glues, resins, leathers
Nickel, sawdust
Cabinet makers and carpenters
Stains, glues, woods, turpentine, varnishes, colophony
Rubber gloves
Coal miners
Rubber boots and masks
Construction workers
Chromates, cobalt, rubber and leather gloves, resins, woods
Cooks and caterers
Foods, onions, garlic, spices, flavours, rubber gloves, sodium metabisulphite, lauryl and octyl gallate, formaldehyde
Dentists and dental technicians
Local anesthetics, mercury, methacrylates, eugenol, disinfectants, rubber, dental impression material.
Dry cleaners
Rubber gloves
Fluxes, resins, rubber
Nickel, chromium, cobalt
Cement, resins, woods, varnish
Florists and gardeners
Plants, pesticides, rubber gloves
Foundry workers
Phenol-and urea-formaldehyde resins, colophony
Dyes, persulphates, nickel, perfumes, rubber gloves, formaldehyde, resorcinol, pyrogallol
Rubber gloves, foods, spices, flavours, nickel, chromates, polishes
Epoxy resin, metals, soldering fluxes
Rubber gloves, chromates, epoxy resin, antifreeze
Medical personnel
Rubber gloves, anesthetics, antibiotics, antiseptics, phenothiazines, formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, liquid chloroxylenol, hand creams
Metal workers
Nickel, chromates, additives in some cutting oils
Office workers
Rubber, nickel, glue
Turpentine, thinners, cobalt, chromates, polyester resins, formaldehyde, epoxy resin, adhesives, paints
Photography industry workers
Rubber gloves, colour developers, para-aminophenol, hydroquinone, formaldehyde, sodium metabisulphite, chromates
Plastic workers
Hardeners, phenolic resins, polyurethanes, acrylics, plasticizers
Nickel, chromates, cobalt, colophony, formaldehyde, turpentine
Rubber workers
Rubber chemicals, dyes, colophony
Glues, leather, rubber, turpentine
Tannery workers
Chromates, formaldehyde, tanning agents, fungicides, dyes
Textile workers
Formaldehyde resins, dyes, chromates, nickel
Rubber gloves, medicaments

If you feel patch testing would be beneficial to you, call (614) 777-1200 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Costanza today!