Patch testing is somewhat miserable. Especially if you are being tested for so many things. It requires you to literally have patches taped on to your skin to see if your skin reacts to contact with the substances in the patches. Each patch has a number so they can check back on the list to see what you are reacting to. You have to wear them for two days (my whole upper back was covered with patches locked down with adhesive tape), then have them removed and read on the 3rd day, and have a second reading on the 4th day. And you cannot exercise or get the patches wet during that time. I was so glad to have the patches removed, and then even more overjoyed to have the second reading so I could go home and shower!
|My patches, before being covered by tape.|
So the problem I had with healing from the sutures a number of months ago? It was described by the Dr. like a perfect storm: An allergy to the stainless steel needle used, the sutures themselves, the antibacterial agents, and adhesives used in pads/bandages. Then I followed up by keeping it clean daily using soap I was likely allergic to. No wonder I had a problem healing!
I now have a whole packet of information I need to compile into a master chemical/metal names list, so I can check products at the store before buying them. I am sad that some of the products I have used in the past I will have to discard, but I had already self-selected for some products that were less irritating, and so hopefully I will be able to keep some of them. And the sensitivity I have is not so severe that I will have to wear gloves to touch a doorknob or a fork. I would only experience discomfort if in prolonged contact with the things I am sensitive to. Now, armed with this knowledge, I face a much less itchy future. If I need any surgical procedures done, I can share this information with my physician and help ensure a successful healing. This test is an investment that I am glad I made.