Avoiding an allergic reaction can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re allergic to. This is where skin testing becomes valuable. Doctors use skin tests to identify your allergens or the things that can trigger an allergic reaction.
How does skin testing work?
Skin tests use the extracts of common allergens such as pollen, mold, dust mites, certain foods, and animal dander.
The doctor introduces these extracts to your skin, which will then trigger a rash and an itch, similar to what you’ll get when you have a mosquito bite. Having this reaction during or after a skin test will tell your doctor which substance you’re allergic to.
How the extract will be introduced to your skin will depend on what kind of skin test you’re getting.
A skin test can be done in the following ways:
Also known as the prick test, the potential allergen will be dropped on your prepped skin (either on the forearm or back). And to get the allergen into your skin, the doctor or the nurse will scratch the outer layer of your skin (hence, the name).
During an intradermal test, the doctor or the nurse will inject a tiny amount of the potential allergen under your skin.
As its name implies, the patch test involves sticking a patch with the potential allergen either on your forearm or back.
The result of the test will help the doctor determine your allergy triggers and come up with a more customized treatment plan.
How about the allergy tests without the doctor’s exam?
Some drugstores and even online shops now offer allergy testing kits. These kits, which do not require any assessment from a specialist, are not always reliable.
These DIY kits can lead to false positives, meaning having a positive allergy result on something you aren’t really allergic to. You may end up making unnecessary lifestyle changes and consequently, wasting more money.
If you are constantly having allergic reactions and would like to find out how you can minimize your risk, call us. Our specialists at Greater Knoxville ENT can look into your condition, conduct the necessary skin tests, and create a suitable treatment plan for you.
For appointments, you may call us at (865) 244-4396.