What is a Skin Allergy Test?
A skin allergy test is an umbrella term used to refer to a number of testing procedures used in the diagnosis of allergies. Skin allergy tests are popular because they help in the diagnosis of many common allergies.
They also have the advantage of being less invasive than blood tests and provide a good alternative for children or patients who may have an aversion to needles. They also cause little pain or inconvenience for a patient and can be conducted on an outpatient basis. Your allergist can help you determine which skin allergy test is best for your needs.
There are several different types of skin tests used by the medical community in the diagnosis of allergies. Each of these tests comes with its own pros and cons. Some tests are better for assessing certain conditions, for example, while other tests are a better fit for certain patients.
Some conditions, too, including food allergies, are more diagnostically complex and may require additional testing beyond just a skin test. Determining which test is the best option for you should be done in close consultation with your doctor or allergist.
Types Of Skin Allergy Tests
Types of Allergies a Skin Test Reveals
This is one of the most common forms of allergies treated and managed by an allergist.learn more
Pollen allergy “hay fever” symptoms are triggered by pollens from trees and plants, which can range from very mild to severe.learn more
Any animal with fur or feathers can cause allergies, and symptoms can vary from person to person.learn more
Skin tests can help diagnose food allergies; however, given the complexities of food allergies, skin tests are not typically the only diagnostic procedure involved in diagnosing these conditions. Patients with suspected food allergies may require additional testing. Skin allergy tests are popular due to their simplicity and to the fact that they are not invasive procedures.
RISKS OF SKIN ALLERGY TESTING
As with any medical procedure, there are some risks associated with skin allergy testing. The most common side effect associated with skin testing is the occurrence of an allergic response in the skin. This typically involves the development of swollen itchy red bumps and blisters.
Sometimes these reactions are visible immediately after application of the allergen but, in some cases, they may take several hours or days to appear. In very rare cases, a patient may develop a severe allergic reaction. This is why skin allergy testing is always conducted in the safety of an allergist’s office under medical supervision.
Skin testing is not recommended for patients with a history of severe allergic reactions. It’s also not a good choice for patients on some heartburn medications or antidepressants. Finally, patients with some skin disorders, including psoriasis and eczema, may wish to avoid skin testing. Blood allergy tests can provide a viable alternative for these patients.
Typically swollen itchy red bumps and blisters.
Severe allergic reaction
While rare, this is why tests are performed under medical supervision.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE SKIN ALLERGY TEST?
After your skin test, your allergist will go over the results with you very carefully. This means making a treatment plan and an action plan that can help you stay away from allergens that make your symptoms worse. No matter what kind of allergy you have, the first step in treating it is to stay away from allergens.
If an allergen is found to be causing a severe reaction, you may also need to talk about other treatments, such as injectable epinephrine. Your allergist may also suggest changes to your home, workplace, or daily habits that will make you less likely to be exposed to dangerous allergens.