Patch testing is a type of skin test used to determine the cause of an allergic skin reaction, such as contact dermatitis. It involves placing small amounts of suspected allergens on the skin and covering them with a patch. The patches are usually left in place for 48 hours, and then removed to check for any reaction.

The patch test is used to identify specific allergens that may be causing skin irritation and symptoms. Common allergens that are tested include substances found in personal care products, such as soaps, lotions, and cosmetics, as well as chemicals found in household items, such as adhesives, rubber products, and metals.

Patch testing is performed by a doctor or allergist, and results are usually available within a few days. A positive reaction to a patch test indicates that a person is allergic to the substance being tested. This information can help guide treatment and management of the skin condition, as well as provide important information for avoiding allergens in the future.