A Skin Test May Determine What You Are Allergic To

by Brent Woods

If your doctor has validated that the recurring rashes on your skin are due to an allergy, they may recommend that you have a skin test performed to determine which irritant you are allergic to. This type of testing involves introducing a series of substances to your skin and observing the application point to determine if one or more of the substances has triggered an allergic reaction.

Tests Are Noninvasive And Performed During An Office Visit

If you are frightened by the prospect of having to endure a painful or itchy reaction due to the skin test, your fears will be put to rest after you consult with the allergist who will be performing the test. Trace amounts of each substance will be either injected or applied to your skin. Right after a test is performed, the site of injection or application will be closely monitored.

The most common effects may be a slightly raised patch of skin and mild itchiness. As soon as an irritant is identified, an antihistamine will be used to treat the skin issues that you experience. The overall discomfort that you experience may pale in comparison to what you usually endure when you suffer an allergic reaction while at home or outdoors. 

You May Need To Alter Your Routine Prior To And After The Test

If you have been taking oral antihistamines to counteract allergic reactions, the allergist may tell you to stop doing so a few days before the skin test is performed. You will receive some guidelines to limit your exposure to substances that could possibly trigger an allergic reaction. For example, if your allergy could potentially be associated with pet dander, the allergist may suggest that you refrain from spending time in the same room as your pet or that you wear gloves if you are going to be handling your pet.

If there is a chance that you are allergic to pollen, you may be advised to limit outdoor activities for the time being. After the test is performed and the allergist has determined what you are allergic to, some changes in your routine can minimize allergic reactions.

You will also be provided with some ways to treat allergic reactions, which may include using an oral or topical antihistamine. In extreme cases, which involve severe allergic reactions, an allergist may prescribe a series of allergy shots. Getting allergy shots means having a small amount of an allergen injected into you. As time passes, your body will build up a resistance to the substance and the frequency of your allergic reactions may decrease.

Call an allergy skin test service for more information.