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Why Have an Allergy Skin Test?

Millions of American suffer from various forms of allergies. At different times of the year our allergies can get stirred-up and make life uncomfortable for us and even those who live around us. If your allergies are severe enough it may be necessary for you to make an appointment with your physician. If you what your actually allergic too has never been identified than the doctor may chose to perform an allergy skin test. Allergy skin test can be used for people of all ages including infants. During a skin test areas of the persons skin is exposed to various allergens to determine which ones cause a reaction on the skin. The doctor at that time will likely want to know about your family history concerning allergies. The information gathered by your doctor will help them to better determine what coarse of action will best treat your symptoms.

The only risks associated with allergy skin testing is that it is likely for the tested areas to turn red, with itchy swollen bumps. These bumps often disappear after a few hours, but can linger for a few days. A mild cortisone cream can be used to relieve the discomfort.

Be prepared to inform your doctor of any genetic history of allergies, and any other medical concerns that you may have that will help them to determine your treatment plan. They may through medical history and physical examination be able to determine the trigger or cause for you’re allergies. Making sure your doctor knows of what medications you are on whether prescribed or over the counter is other vital information that must be gathered. Most medications are out the body within days so they may ask you to prevent from taking some medications to see if your problems begin to clear up and improve.

There is no need to become upset or apprehensive about the skin testing procedure. It normally will take place in a doctor’s office and be performed by a nurse. The doctor then will interpret the results. The three major test types include:

Puncture or percutaneous test

Intradermal or intracutanious test

Patch epicutaneous test

Some test detect for immediate reactions and other will test for reactions over several days.
These test are not painful and are rather quickly administered. If a reaction is noted by an irritated area of skin the information is recorded and used to determine which form of treatment would be best.

So if what you have been taking over the counter is not adequately dealing with your allergies a allergy skin test may be needed to better pin point what is causing the reaction, and how to treat it.

Source: mayoclinic.com