What is Allergy Testing and Treatment?
This includes having a skin or blood test to find out what substance, or allergen, may trigger an allergic response in a person. Skin tests are usually done because they are rapid, reliable, and generally less expensive than blood tests, but either type of test may be used.
How is a Skin Allergy Test Performed?
A small amount of a suspected allergen is placed on or below the skin to see if a reaction develops. There are three types of skin tests:
- Skin prick test: This test is done by placing a drop of a solution containing a possible allergen on the skin, and a series of scratches or needle pricks allows the solution to enter the skin. If the skin develops a red, raised itchy area (called a wheal), it usually means that the person is allergic to that allergen. This is called a positive reaction.
- Intradermal test: During this test, a small amount of the allergen solution is injected into the skin. An intradermal allergy test may be done when a substance does not cause a reaction in the skin prick test but is still suspected as an allergen for that person. The intradermal test is more sensitive than the skin prick test but is more often positive in people who do not have symptoms to that allergen (false-positive test results).
- Skin patches test: For this test, the allergen solution is placed on a pad that is taped to the skin for about 2-4 days. This test is used to detect a skin allergy called contact dermatitis.
How Is a Blood Allergy Test Performed?
Allergy blood tests look for substances in the blood which are called antibodies. This is not sensitive as skin tests, however, are often recommended by doctors.
This is the most recommended blood test used is the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay It measures the blood level of immunoglobulin E, or IgE that the body may make in response to certain allergens. IgE levels are often higher in people who have asthma or allergies.
Allergy Testing and Treatment Reviews
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Frequently Asked Questions About Allergy Testing
When should I receive allergy testing?
Most often, individuals will receive allergy testing if they have shown symptoms of an allergic reaction and are unsure of the substance that caused them. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and could cause skin reactions, throat swelling, and stomach issues. If you notice these symptoms and cannot uncover the associated cause, it may be ideal to receive appropriate allergy testing.
What happens after I find out I’m allergic to something?
If you have a skin reaction during an allergy test, it means that you are allergic to that substance. Our team at Atlanta Medical Institute will then provide necessary instructions on how to avoid further reactions in the future. In severe cases, you may need to carry around an EpiPen to stop life-threatening reactions.
Do I need to receive additional allergy testing in the future?
In some cases, you could outgrow an allergy, though it may be unlikely. If you are still experiencing symptoms of an allergic reaction after your allergy test, you may need to receive additional testing as you could be allergic to an additional substance.
Can You Have a Delayed Reaction After An Allergy Test?
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