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When a person suffers from allergies, life can be very uncomfortable. They may have symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, itchy skin, hives or even more severe health problems. For some people, allergies may even bring about life threatening complications. Fortunately, skin tests can be done to diagnose what a patient is and is not allergic to. These tests can be done in different ways and some can produce results within only minutes. These are the types of allergy skin tests that are commonly performed in allergy clinics today.
Skin Prick Tests
A skin prick test detects allergies to as many as 40 different potential allergens during one testing session. When this test is done, immediate results are produced within only a few minutes. This test is done to detect allergies to allergens such as pollen, pet dander, certain foods, and mold.
The skin prick test is not painful. Extracts of the allergen are applied in small amounts to the skin and then the skin is pricked with a lancet so the extract is absorbed. There is no bleeding involved and the test is only mildly uncomfortable.
Skin Injection Tests
This allergy test is done by injecting a small amount of an allergen extract into the top layers of skin. The area is watched for up to 15 minutes to see if an allergic reaction develops. This test is often used to determine an allergy to penicillin or certain insect venom.
Skin Patch Tests
Patch tests are done without the use of lancets or needles. They are commonly performed to diagnose certain skin allergies. This is done by applying an allergen substance to a patch that is worn on the arm or the back. As many as 20 to 30 patches may be worn at the same time.
The patient usually wears the patches for 48 hours and then returns to have them checked by the physician. If the skin is red and irritated, it is a good indication the patient is allergic to the substance that was on that particular patch. This test is often used to determine an allergy to latex, medications, preservatives and fragrances.
While it may seem dangerous to apply these potential allergens to a patient's skin with these methods, such a small amount of the allergens are used that it does not cause a life threatening risk. This is the best way to determine the cause of a person's allergies so they can be treated properly.For more help, contact a company like Allergy Partners of the Midlands.Share