If you have frequent allergy symptoms and can't seem to figure out why, your doctor may recommend you undergo allergy testing. These are two common forms of testing you may have done.
Skin Prick Test
A skin prick test gives quick results. You can find out if the test is positive before you leave the doctor's office. To do this test, a nurse applies several allergens to your skin with a lancet. The lancet, or needle, just scrapes the surface of your skin, so it isn't painful and it doesn't draw blood. It only takes a tiny scratch to test an allergen and several can be tested in a single office visit.
After the nurse administers the test, you'll wait in the office for results to develop. If you are allergic to a substance, your skin will develop a red welt. The size of the welt indicates the severity of your allergy. This test is a quick and easy way to identify a variety of possible allergy triggers such as pet dander, dust mites, and pollen.
Another test you may have done is the patch test. This test takes longer since you need to wear the patch for a couple of days so it has prolonged contact with your skin. This test helps the doctor identify allergy triggers for things you might come into contact with, such as latex, hair dye, metals, and fragrances. You'll wear the patch for a couple of days and then return to your doctor's office to have it removed. Just like the skin prick test, if you are allergic to a particular substance on the patch test, there will be a red swollen area of skin where the allergen was applied. Skin prick and patch testing are convenient and effective ways to test for allergies, but if you have a skin condition or take certain medications, your doctor may not get accurate results. In that case, you may have blood work drawn and analyzed instead.
Finding out what causes your allergies is very helpful in controlling your symptoms. One of the best ways to keep your symptoms under control is to avoid what triggers them. Avoidance can reduce your reliance on medication too. Knowing your allergens can even save your life. If you have a severe allergy to bees or peanuts, you'll want to know about it so you can learn how to protect yourself and stop an allergic reaction before you go into anaphylactic shock. For more information, visit sites like http://www.entfpss.com.