Allergy skin tests might sound strange. During these tests, your skin is exposed to allergens and is observed for signs of allergic reaction. Physicians use your medical history and allergy tests to confirm whether your reactions are caused by things you touch, eat or breathe. While allergy skin tests might sound odd, they’re incredibly beneficial to patients who want to know why they’re reacting the way they do to certain substances.
What is Allergy Skin Testing?
Allergy skin tests help your doctor gain information about your allergies. Your physician can create a treatment plan that allows you to avoid your triggers, medicate your allergies, or partake in immunotherapy to reduce your allergy symptoms. Physicians use allergy skin tests to diagnose conditions, such as:
- Hay fever (allergic rhinitis): Hay fever is an allergic reaction caused by pollen or dust. Mucous membranes in the eyes and nose become itchy and inflamed, causing your nose to run. Another common symptom of hay fever is watery eyes.
- Allergic asthma: This type of asthma is directly related to allergies. Your throat closes when you breathe in a substance that aggravates your allergies. In this case, allergens are known as triggers, such as pollen, pet dander, or mold. These allergens trigger asthma attacks.
- Dermatitis (eczema): Eczema is a condition where patches of skin become inflamed. The skin has a rough texture, and you can sometimes develop blisters. The blisters itch, causing you to scratch. The blisters result from irritation but can also have no apparent external cause.
- Food allergies: Some substances that you eat can cause an allergic reaction. When consuming food, you’re allergic to; your tongue can swell and make it difficult to talk or breathe. If your reaction is severe, your throat can close, causing anaphylactic shock.
- Penicillin allergy: Your immune system reacts to the antibiotic if you’re allergic to penicillin. Penicillin is a common medication used in treating infections. When you react to penicillin, you can have a rash, hives, and itching.
- Bee venom allergy: It can be life-threatening if you’re allergic to bee venom. All bees have doses of venom in their stinger, and even the slightest sting can result in a reaction. Symptoms range from hives to difficulty breathing. If your reaction is severe, you need to seek medical treatment immediately. A severe reaction can result in death.
For the most part, skin tests are safe for patients of all ages. Infants can also have skin tests to determine what they’re allergic to. Your physician can decline to perform a skin test if you have had a severe reaction. If you’re sensitive enough to certain substances, the slightest allergens in skin tests can trigger anaphylaxis.
Allergy Testing with All-American Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
At All-American Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, our physicians are trained to ensure you are prepared to deal with your allergies. Dr. Charles Calais is experienced in performing allergy skin tests and can guide you through treatment. Call us at (210) 226-3500 or visit us online to schedule an allergy test. Once you know what triggers your allergic reactions, it’s easier to understand what treatment you need.