With all of the technology running around, as well as modern scientists' understanding of the human body and how it reacts, allergy testing has come a long way. Years ago, it was hard to tell if you were allergic to something via any test that a doctor could do, and even then they could not always nail down exactly what you were allergic to. Now methodologies have advanced and allergy testing is nearly painless and much more reliable. This article will run through the three major ways that doctors use to test for allergies.
Skin prick test
This is the most common test done by doctors to test for allergies. The doctor will place a small amount of what they think is causing your allergy on a place on your body. They generally use your forearm or back, as there is a lot of easily available skin there. Your skin is then pricked so that the allergen goes underneath your skin. The doctor will then look at the place on your arm after 15 minutes of waiting and see if there is swelling. If there is, you are most likely allergic to that substance.
Intradermal skin test
This testing is used more often when the doctor has used the skin prick test and it came out negative, but the doctor still thinks you are allergic to the particular substance. This is also used for testing if you are allergic to bee stings or penicillin. The doctor will use a needle to inject you with some of the allergen, then will look for any reaction. Same as before, if there is a reaction to the allergen, you are allergic to the substance.
Finally, there is patch testing, which is generally used after you suffer a bad attack to find out what the allergen was that you were affected by. For example, was it poison ivy or poison oak that you found in the woods that made you all red and blotchy? The doctor will tape the possible substances to your skin for 48 hours and then look at it after 72 hours to see what has affected you and what you are allergic to.
There you have it, the three most common ways that doctors now test for allergies. If you think you might be allergic to something, head over to an allergy clinic like Allergy Clinic - Idaho. With this amount of technology and understanding now, it can't be long before there are more sophisticated and painless ways of testing!