Children and Patch Testing

It’s a common myth that young children don’t develop allergic reactions until later in childhood. Reports have shown that even infants and toddlers can start developing allergic reactions early in life. This is more likely to happen with a personal or family history of dry skin or eczema.

It’s also a common myth that all products labeled “for babies,” “hypoallergenic,” or “natural” are safe to use on sensitive skin. Because there’s no national or government standard for what those labels should mean in terms of ingredients, these products can still contain fragrances, preservatives, plants, etc. that kids (and adults) can be allergic to.

If your child is having problems with a chronic diaper rash, persistent eczema, or recurrent “ringworm,” then the possibility of allergic contact dermatitis should be explored. However, keep in mind that patch (allergy) testing can be more challenging in kids for a few reasons: they might not have enough skin surface to tape all the recommended test panels; they can have more difficulty tolerating tape/panel removal; their skin can be more easily irritated by the test substances, making it look like they’re allergic to more substances than they actually are.

Lydia Carpenter

Because of the challenges listed above, it’s often worthwhile to try some specific changes first. The number of products and medications available nowadays can be overwhelming, so let me guide you in this process. If your child’s rash doesn’t clear with my recommendations, and other possible diagnoses have been ruled out, then patch testing could be the next step.

Contact Dr. Lydia Carpenter or any of SBC’s Board Certified providers to help you get the right diagnosis for your skin condition.


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