Patch testing YAY or NAY?
Patch testing has always been a well discussed subject amongst therapists, educators and those wanting to start their venture into the beauty industry. 
Let's have at the options, pro's and con's so that you can decide what is best for you, your business and your clients.

Often we hear "do I have to patch test"?
Our answer is a clear YES! 
Most treatments now require a patch test in order to ensure that your client is suitable for the treatment and not sensitive to any products or ingredients within. 

But anyone can become allergic at any time, so why patch test?
Yes this is very true!
Anyone can become sensitive or allergic to any product or ingredient at any time, however you want to ensure that your client is suitable for the treatment and not allergic which could cause a severe reaction. 
This is not just about safeguarding the client but also yourself and your business. You want to ensure you have done everything to keep your client safe and to conduct yourself in a professional manner and patch testing is part of this. 

What if my insurance says I don't need to patch test? 
Well, that is nice of your insurance to make a statement, after all they normally just pass the buck and refer to the manufacturer, trainer, supplier or anything else to keep a loophole. 
So if they say you don't have to patch test and something happens, your client takes legal action against you, what will the insurance do? Will they pay out and defend you or will they use that loophole so they don't have to pay? 
Your guess is as good as ours however if you look at similar cases it gives  you an idea of what is likely to happen. Do you want to risk it? 

Isn't it a waste of time? 
Is fastening your seat belt a waste of time? 
Patch testing only takes minutes and if it means you can keep your client and your business safe then its not a waste, is it? 
You are going through a consultation with any new client anyway (you should!) so you can patch test during the consultation and at the same time find out more about your client and explain the treatment, and also assess how likely the desired treatment outcome is so that you can offer realistic suggestions. 
You get your clients to sign a disclaimer? 
Surely if anyone signs a waiver or disclaimer this should solve any problems and you are protected? Right? 
Yes, years ago that used to be the case, however nowadays that paper wont stand up in court and it will not protect you at all. The insurance wont really take notice of this as it does not show due diligence and it does not safeguard your client, if anything it looks as if you are trying to pass the blame onto the client!

So how do we patch test? 
Different treatments have different requirements. Spray tan solutions, tint and lifting products should be patch tested on the skin by using a cotton bud to apply a bit of the solution behind the ear. 

Why do we not do the same for eye lash extensions? 
The most common reason for clients to react to extensions is actually the adhesive or rather the fumes that develop as the adhesive cures. 
With this in mind it wouldn't make sense to patch test behind the ear as that would not cause a reaction if you have sensitive eyes. 

Likewise it may cause a reaction because adhesives are classed as an irritant and should never touch the skin so you could provoke a reaction by testing on the skin when your client might be perfectly suitable to wearing lash extensions. 

So what is the best way? 
If you are patch  testing existing clients for a new product, simply apply a few lashes during an infill appointment with the new product. This is very easy and straight forward and takes no additional time at all! 
If it is a new client simply apply a bit of each product you are using to a couple of the natural lashes  and make a note on the record or consultation card which products are applied where. Remember to also patch test primer, debonder, sealant or any other products you are intending to use as it isn't always the adhesive that will cause a reaction. 

With all this in mind it seems clear cut, doesn't it? 
We all have different views and opinions and we are not here to judge or convert peoples views, we are merely here to help you stay safe. Flirties believes in patch testing and we do recommend it. No excuses. No exceptions. Full stop. 

So next time you hear the insurance refer to the supplier or manufacturers recommendations you know where we stand and you also know what to do to keep your clients and your business safe.