Skin Health
Patient Story: Patch Test Prevents and Heals
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“Good day, Dr.! Thank you for taking such good care of me.”.

This was taken an email sent by a patient to her dermatologist. She included photos she took of herself while healing. The doctor, a contact dermatitis specialist, conducted a thorough interview and noted a history of sensitivity as well as a long list of personal care products that seemed to contain several known allergens. She performed a patch test and found a sensitivity to mint and nickel. The patient’s email continues,

“Good day, Dr.! Thank you for taking such good care of me.  Attached are photos I took documenting my lips. The Boo-Boo Balm helped a lot! And without the patch test, I would never have guessed that I would be allergic to mint and nickel of all things!
Feel free to use the photos to show other patients what patch testing can do! I’m doing great, thank you for asking! :) Although now I’m more careful about the things I touch, use and eat!” – Mila

What Worked: After her patch test showed reactions to mint and nickel, Mila switched to an allergen-free toothpaste and, for the lips, a reparative, barrier-protective balm with monolaurin, a coconut-derived antimicrobial. Clarity was achieved in 6 days and has since been maintained.

What is a patch test? In brief, it’s a painless procedure that shows you the ingredients and substances that you are sensitive to. It can be tremendously effective and can save you a significant amount of time, expense, discomfort and frustration from random trial and error. It is your best bet to accurately isolate specific ingredients that you might be sensitive to.
Even if you feel that you do not have sensitive skin, you might be surprised by how much a patch test can help clear skin concerns as varied as…

  • Stubborn dark spots. Why? Melasma and other hyperpigmentations can be caused by photo-allergens or photosensitizers, and many allergens are also photo-allergens or photosensitizers. Darkening can also be post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or darkening after a skin trauma like a pimple, insect bite or rash. Avoiding triggers that tend to elicit these reactions in your skin can help reduce or erase dark spots.
  • Acne. Why? While allergens may not clog pores the way comedogens do, they can irritate the pore, causing infection and acne.
  • Anti-aging and other active therapies. Why? Active ingredients in cosmeceuticals work better in hypoallergenic formulation. One of the concerns of using active ingredients is that they are inherently irritating due to their level of penetration and efficacy. Some formulations use diluted versions or less-than-effective concentrations of these actives to mitigate the risk of irritations. VMV omits allergens in the formulation which reduces the risk of irritation and enables the use of higher (more effective) concentrations.? Remember, as mentioned above, many allergens can elicit reactions like darkening or acne. If you are using an active therapy that contains allergens or photo-allergens, it could be working against itself (causing the problem it was designed to treat).

This case is an excellent example of how effective mere prevention can be at clearing an existing problem.

Check out Hypoallergenic Benefits ALL Skin: Sensitivity, Acne, Dark Spots, Children, Cosmeceuticals for more information.??

To find a dermatologist who does patch tests, check search the website of the American Contact Dermatitis Society or ask your country’s dermatological or contact dermatitis societies.

For more on patch tests, see Patch Test: What Is It and Should I Get One?