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Allergy Testing


An allergy skin test, also known as a skin prick test or puncture test, is a common diagnostic procedure used to identify specific allergens that may be triggering allergic reactions in an individual. It is typically performed by an allergist or immunologist and involves exposing the skin to small amounts of various allergens to observe the body's immune response. Here's what typically happens during an allergy skin test:

Preparation: Before the test, the healthcare provider will review the patient's medical history, including any known allergies, symptoms, medications, and previous allergic reactions. They will also discuss the purpose of the skin test, the procedure, and any potential risks or side effects.

Selection of Allergens: Based on the patient's medical history and suspected allergens, the healthcare provider selects a panel of allergens to test. Common allergens tested include pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mold, certain foods, and insect venom.

Skin Prick Test:

The skin prick test is typically performed on the forearm or the back, which are common areas for testing.

The healthcare provider cleans the skin with alcohol and marks the test sites with a pen.

Small drops of each allergen extract are placed on the skin, usually in a grid pattern, with a separate lancet or needle used for each allergen.

Using a lancet or a small needle, the healthcare provider gently pricks or scratches the skin through each drop of allergen extract. This allows the allergen to enter the skin surface.

Observation and Interpretation:

After the allergens are applied, the healthcare provider waits for about 15-20 minutes to observe the skin's reaction.

If the patient is allergic to a particular allergen, they may develop a small raised bump (wheal) at the test site, along with redness and itching. This indicates a positive reaction to the allergen.

The size of the wheal and the degree of redness are measured and compared to a control test site (where no allergen was applied) to determine the severity of the reaction.

Interpretation of Results:

The healthcare provider interprets the test results based on the size of the wheals and the degree of redness at each test site.

A larger wheal size and more pronounced redness indicate a stronger allergic reaction to the allergen.

Positive reactions to specific allergens help identify the allergens triggering the patient's allergic symptoms.

Discussion and Next Steps:

After the test, the healthcare provider discusses the results with the patient, including any identified allergens and their implications for allergy management.

Depending on the test results, the healthcare provider may recommend allergy avoidance strategies, medications, immunotherapy (allergy shots or sublingual immunotherapy), or other treatments to manage allergic symptoms.

It's important to note that allergy skin tests are generally safe and well-tolerated, but there is a risk of allergic reactions, such as itching, swelling, or hives, at the test sites. Rarely, severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) may occur, which is why allergy skin tests are performed under the supervision of a trained healthcare provider who can manage any adverse reactions promptly. Individuals with certain medical conditions or taking certain medications may not be suitable candidates for allergy skin testing, so it's important to discuss any concerns with the healthcare provider beforehand.

Here at RescueMD, our providers are able to handle allergy testing for patients in Allen, Frisco, Mckinney, Plano, Dallas and the surrounding areas.


945 Stockton Drive, Ste #6100
Allen, TX 75013
Phone: 972-449-7940
Fax: 972-390-1557

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