How does allergy skin testing work?
During allergy skin testing, your skin in exposed to suspected allergy causing substances and then is observed for signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction. Allergy tests are able to confirm whether or not a particular substance you touch, eat or breathe is causing symptoms. If you are allergic to a specific substance then your body will have a very mild allergic reaction that results in a local skin manifestation that we are able to detect and identify.
There are a variety of different allergen skin tests that can be used to identify specific allergens. One of many includes skin prick testing. This is a convenient and common test that is performed at My Concierge MD. A drop of solution containing the allergen is placed on your forearm or your back. A sterile needle is passed through the drop that pricks the skin. This procedure places the allergen under your skin. In about fifteen minutes after the allergen is placed under your skin, your physician will evaluate the area to determine if you have had an allergic reaction to the allergen. A “reaction” is a slightly swollen, at times itchy, bump that resembles hives that usually disappear within 30 minutes.
What are the different skin allergy tests performed?
Skin prick tests can be used to test for a variety of allergens at once. Intradermal skin test, is similar to a skin prick test, but instead the allergen solution is injected just under your skin with a syringe. The doctor will then inspect for similar skin reaction as in a skin prick test.
Intradermal skin testing is primarily used to test for venom and antibiotic allergies.
Scratch testing is a more uncommon used method, but works the same way as skin prick and intradermal tests, but involves making a scratch in your skin and dropping the allergen into the scratch.
Are there side effects associated with skin allergy testing?
Allergy skin testing is relatively painless and has a low risk of side effects. Very rarely, severe allergic reactions have been reported as a result of food allergen skin testing. In addition to allergy skin testing, we are able to perform other tests such as blood testing, food challenges and food sensitivity testing, bronchial or nasal provocation tests, nasal smears and more to confirm the presence or absence of an allergy.
Allergies are not fun, especially when you don’t know what’s causing them. With a series of tests, we at My Concierge MD in Beverly Hills are able to help pin-point the cause of your allergies and help you find long lasting relief!