There are few ways to test someone to find out if they are allergic or not. Depending on the symptoms of the patient, patient story and what we found in examination, we choose the correct allergy testing method. No matter what test is used, one needs to connect the dots to see if results are meaningful for the patient’s allergy problem. For example, if a patient has year long symptoms and is found to be allergic to only grass pollen, one should not blame grass pollen for the patient’s yearlong misery and look for answers elsewhere.
The prick or intradermal skin test involves injecting a small amount of allergen into the skin and then health care provider monitoring patient for a reaction at the site. This test is designed to determine if you have allergies to what you inhale, medications, food, venom and latex.
Designed to assess allergy to what comes in contact with skin such as metals, perfumes, and skin care products. Patch testing is different than prick skin test as this is used to detect different kind of allergies. Patch tests identifies allergen specific T-lymphocytes as opposed to allergen specific antibodies. The way patch test is done is different and more time consuming.
Many patients need allergy testing, but not every patient needs allergy testing at all or it may be done at a time jointly decided by the patient and an allergy doctor.
Allergy medications like antihistamines interfere with interpretation of the test and may result in false negative test. Some medications are okay to take before allergy test and others are not. Please visit Antihistamines resource page for medications which may be taken before the test and which need to be discontinued.