Skin Testing

Skin TestingPatients with allergies react to a particular substance, called an allergen. To determine which specific substances are triggering your allergies, an allergist can investigate what substance you`re reacting to. This is done by skin testing, or sometimes by blood tests.

Q: Who should be tested for allergies?

A: Any adult or child who have symptoms suggesting an allergic disease. Allergic diseases include Allergic Rhinitis, allergic asthma, atopic dermatitis, urticaria, anaphylaxis of any cause.

for further information please refer to what are allergic diseases).

Q: Why should someone have an skin testing?

A: Allergy tests provide a specific information about what you are and are not allergic to. Once you have identified the specific allergen(s) causing your symptoms, you can receive a better and specific treatment plan aimed at controlling or eliminating your allergy symptoms.

Skin TestingQ: What will i be tested to?

A: Allergy symptoms are usually caused by one of these common allergens:

  • Products from house dust mites that live in your home.
  • Proteins from furry pets, which are found in their skin secretions, saliva and urine.
  • Molds in your home or in the air outside.
  • Tree, grass and weed pollen.
  • Cockroach droppings.
  • Venom from the stinging insects.
  • Foods.
  • Natural rubber latex, such as gloves or balloons.
  • Drugs, such as penicillin or anesthetics.

Allergy tests find which of these proteins will help determine which ones you may be reacting to.

Q: What are the types of Allergy Tests?

A: There are many types of testing if someone has allergy to any substance present in the atmosphere. These include:

  1. Prick method:This involves introducing a small amount of allergen into the skin by making a small puncture through a drop of the allergen extract. The most common site for this test is the forearm.

    This is a 15 minutes test. Certain medications interfere with the test result, so make sure that you inform your doctor of the drugs you are on before the test.

  2. Intradermal method: This involves injecting a small amount of allergen under the skin with a syringe. This form of testing is more sensitive than the prick skin test method. This form of allergy testing may be used if the prick skin tests are negative.

Other Allergy Testing Techniques:

  • Blood (RAST) test: Sometimes a blood test, called a RAST (radioallergosorbent) test is done to evaluate the individual allergies. RAST tests are generally used only in cases in which skin tests can not be performed, such as on patients taking certain medications, or those with skin conditions that may interfere with skin testing.
  • Patch test: This test involve the application of suspected allergens on the skin for a period of few days. It`s necessary in evaluating a skin condition called contact dermatitis. The most common site for application of this test is the back.