Contact Dermatitis Clinic

What is contact dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis is the rash that appears when the skin comes into contact with something it finds irritating. Though the rash can appear right away, it usually takes a couple of days to develop and can last for several weeks to months. People can sometimes develop contact dermatitis from something they have used for years.    

The Contact Dermatitis Clinic at Tufts Medical Center is dedicated to helping patients identify and manage their contact dermatitis. The best way to do this is through a process called patch testing. 

What is patch testing?

Patch testing is a non-invasive form of allergy testing, different from the prick testing that is performed for food and environmental allergies.  Instead, patch testing evaluates for allergies to things like fragrances, dyes, preservatives, rubber, metals, topical medications, sunscreens, certain plants and more. Please note: patch testing can be done in children but is typically avoided in pregnant or nursing women.  

During patch testing, multiple "patches" containing different potential allergens (usually 80 to 100+) are placed on the skin, marked and left on for 48 hours. Patch testing typically requires three office visits: 

  1. Monday: Patch placement 
  2. Wednesday: Patch removal (brief)
  3. Friday: Final results and counseling
We recommend a patch consultation prior to testing in order to determine whether patch testing is appropriate for you, to set expectations, answer any questions you may have and best prepare you for the week. 

To make the patch testing process as smooth as possible, we ask that you follow the steps below prior to your visit:

Patch Test Guide

Patch Test Patient Form (please bring the completed form to your patch test week)
Patch Self Removal instructions (if applicable)

Please have previous patch test and biopsy results and your Patch Test Patient Form faxed to us at 617-636-9169.   

Clarissa Yang, MD

Clarissa Yang, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Dermatologist-in-Chief; Harvey B. Ansell Professor of Dermatology and Chair, Tufts University School of Medicine; Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Dermatology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-0156
Fax #: 617-636-9169

Skin cancer, atypical moles, acne, laser and cosmetic surgery

View Full Profile for Clarissa Yang, MD

Joyce W. Hoot, MD

Joyce W. Hoot, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Director, Contact Dermatitis Clinic; Dermatologist; Assistant Professor, TUSM
Department(s): Dermatology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-0156
Fax #: 617-636-8316

Contact Dermatitis, Patch testing

View Full Profile for Joyce W. Hoot, MD