Patch testing

There are two different patch testing clinics available at the Skin and Cancer Foundation, Victoria – the occupational dermatology clinic, which focuses on work-related causes of contact dermatitis and the general patch testing clinic, which helps to diagnose contact dermatitis to make-up, sunscreens and fragrances.

Patch testing is a process used to detect whether someone has allergic contact dermatitis to something they contact at work or home. During patch testing, small amounts of chemicals or products that are used at work or home are diluted and placed onto discs mounted on hypoallergenic tape and then placed on the back.

For more information about patch testing refer to the patch testing section on the website.

Consultancy services

ODREC offers a range of consultancy services to industry including:

  • Investigation of skin problems in individuals and groups of workers
  • Training and advice on skin management in the workplace
  • Advice on Return-To-Work options

In the past, ODREC has provided services to a range of industries including;

  • Aircraft manufacturing
  • Food processing
  • General manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing

These services have involved work site inspections, skin assessments and a comprehensive written report, including recommendations for skin protection.

Workplaces interested in any of the above services, please complete the Expression of interest form or phone 03 9623 9430 or 03 9623 9402. Once this form has been received, a member of the team will be in contact with you.

Medico-legal assessments

Associate Professor Rosemary Nixon is the only person with Australian qualifications in both dermatology and occupational medicine. As a result, her expertise is often required for medico-legal assessments of occupational skin disease. For more information ph. 03 9623 9402.

Contact Allergen Bank Australia: A mail-out patch testing service for dermatologists

Contact Allergen Bank Australia (CABA) is based on an idea which originated in Denmark and is a new initiative in Australia to assist dermatologists to diagnose allergic contact dermatitis (ACD). It involves the preparation of individualised patch tests which are sent out to dermatologists’ practices.

Project aims:

  • To provide Australian dermatologists, particularly those in regional centres, with access to comprehensive patch testing resources, available in a timely manner
  • To improve the prognosis of patients with contact dermatitis, with the identification of allergens relevant to their skin condition
  • To collect data on the results of patch testing nationally
  • To enable dermatologists to develop experience and expertise in contact dermatitis, without the costs of purchasing allergens or paying for nursing staff

For more information or to register for the CABA service please visit the CABA section of this website or email