Skin Testing for Allergies: What You Need to Know?

Skin Testing for Allergies: What You Need to Know?

Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to something in your environment. To avoid any skin allergic reaction, you need to get familiar with what you are allergic to. The best way is to consider skin testing by the expert. The professional skin doctor at the top skin allergy clinic will help you find out the various causes of your symptoms.

These tests use a concentrated liquid form of common allergens like mold, pollen, dust mites, foods, and animal dander. Once they get in contact with your skin, they cause a rash. Your skin also gets irritated and may cause itchiness. When this happens, your doctor tells you that you are allergic to something.

What is Allergy Testing?

An allergy test is an examination performed by a well-trained allergy specialist to determine if your body has an allergic reaction to a known substance. It can be in the form of a skin test, blood test, or an elimination diet.

Why it is Used?

Allergy skin tests are typically performed at the doctor’s office. They are used to help diagnose allergic conditions, such as:

  • Allergic asthma
  • Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
  • Dermatitis (eczema)
  • Penicillin allergy
  • Food allergies
  • Bee venom allergy

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Different Tests for Skin Allergies

Below are the different types of skin allergy testing:

1. Skin Prick Test

A skin prick test checks for allergic reactions to a minimum of fifty diverse substances at once. It is usually performed to identify allergies to mold, pollen, pet dander, foods, and dust mites.

The doctor performs testing by cleaning the forearm or back with alcohol and inserting a tiny amount of an allergen. The expert then waits to see what happens.

If you are allergic to the substance, a red and elevated bump with a red ring will appear and the bump may get severely itchy. Skin prick testing can be performed on people of every age group, even babies get older than six months.

2. Intradermal Test

If you think that intradermal tests are only used to test food allergies, you are wrong. It is because if your skin prick test was negative, you may need it. It helps to identify whether a person is allergic to a particular allergen.

In the intradermal test, the doctor:

  • Inject the tiny amount of allergen into the skin.
  • He or she then watches for a reaction at the site.

Once the professional doctor identifies which allergens are causing the skin allergy symptoms, he or she advises you the best plan for avoiding them. Your doctor can also suggest a few medications to ease the symptoms.

3. Skin Injection Test

You may need a skin injection test that uses a needle to inject a tiny amount of allergen extract into the skin. The injection area is examined after fifteen minutes for the allergic reaction signs. Your doctor does this testing to check for an allergy to insect penicillin or venom.

4. Patch Test

The patch test is performed by the skin specialist to see whether a particular substance is triggering an allergic skin inflammation or not. It can help the doctor identify delayed allergic reactions, which can take a few days to develop.

In patch tests, doctors use allergens to the patches, which are then placed on your skin. During a patch test, your skin may get exposed to 20 – 30 extracts that can trigger contact dermatitis. This can include preservatives, latex, medications, fragrances, metals, hair dyes, and resins.

The doctor asks you to wear the patches on the back of your arm for 48 hours. These patches are removed when you get back to your doctor’s office. If the doctor spots irritated skin at the patch region, it is a sign of an allergy.

How Much Time Does Skin Allergy Testing Take?

Usually, the allergy test takes nearly 20 to 40 minutes. Few of them identify instant allergic reactions that develop within several minutes of allergen exposure. However, other tests detect delayed allergic reactions that develop over several days.

Is Allergy Skin Testing Painful?

No. Allergy skin tests are not painful. This kind of testing uses needles (known as lancets) that hardly penetrate the surface of the skin. You won’t bleed or feel more than mild discomfort.