IgE testing an interesting option when a patch test is negative

When a negative patch test is complicating diagnosis of dermatitis, checking IgE levels is an option, which intrigued physicians attending Friday’s session, “What To Do When Patch Testing Is Negative.”

“Negative patch testing has been a frustrating trial with my patients, so it is nice to get some new ideas in terms of what to try and what to think about doing,” Laura Destefano, DO, Sarasota, Florida, said after the session ended. “In terms of lab work, I had not been doing IgE levels, so I definitely will think about trying that.”

Morgan Wilson, MD, Springfield, Illinois, had much the same reaction.

“I thought it was an interesting idea that IgE levels can be checked, and that will be something we have more data on in the future,” he said. “But there is a drug now that antagonizes IgE, so it will be interesting to know whether that has any impact.”

Another reaction of attendees was that information presented during the session by Christen M. Mowad, MD, reinforced that they are doing the right things when patch tests are negative.

“She talked about taking a negative patch test and how to work with it,” said Geeta Patel, DO, San Antonio, Texas. “She talked about different treatments, what to do to alleviate system treatments, using more conservative and aggressive approaches, and which ones work and which ones don’t work.

“This is something we have all done, but it is something where we may not have known which steps were right. This was about confirming that what you are doing is possibly right or tweaking things a little bit to change your management.”

Dr. Destefano, agreed, saying, “It made me realize that what I am doing is in line with what other people are doing, so that is nice. It was nice to see what other people were doing in terms of some systemic treatments, which is something different that I had not been doing.”

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