Ask A Doctor
Question: What is the test for allergies?
Answer: Environmental allergies can be tested through skin tests or blood tests. Skin tests are more sensitive than blood. Correlation with the clinical history is important to assess the relevance of the test results. Food allergies can also be tested through skin or blood tests, but there are times when the allergy is unclear and a food challlenge is necessary. Food challenges use the actual food in incremental doses to look for objective signs of allergy. Contact allergies are diagnosed through Patch skin tests using materials on the skin that are worn for 2 days.
Question: I was wondering if there is a allergy test that can be performed to figure out why my eyelids react a certain way to eyelash extensions. I had been getting eyelash extensions for 6 months and had to stop because all of a sudden my eyelids kept getting red, swollen, flakey, and itchy about 10 hours after application. I took a 3 months break, and tried again, and than took a 3 months break again, and tried them again, and the same reaction occurred (although less severe). Thank you for your time.
Answer: This is most consistent with a contact allergic dermatitis reaction. You are either allergic to a substance in the lash or the adhesive. The adhesive is more likely the allergen. Contact allergy tests are done by patch testing. The material tested is put on a piece of tape and kept on your skin (usually the back) for at least 2 days. You can perform your own patch test unofficially  by putting the lash on your ankle or other skin area under medical tape or a band-aid for 2 days and see if the reaction occurs. If an adhesive is used separately for your lashes you can self patch that as well. If a self patch test shows a reaction you can find what ingredient is the culprit by more extensive patch testing at an Allergist or Dermatologist.

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