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How to test for allergies

If you feel that you are constantly responding to irritants, it is a good idea to find out what triggers your allergic reaction. Talk to an allergist about what you think causes your allergies and schedule a skin or blood test. They can test for 30 to 40 allergens at a time. Learning what you are actually allergic to will help you make lifestyle changes, start medication, or change your diet to successfully manage your allergies.

[ Edit ] Step

[ Edit ] Doing a Skin Test

  1. Talk to an allergist about testing for specific allergens. If you suspect you are allergic to a particular substance, ask your allergist if they can perform a skin test to diagnose. Skin tests can reveal if you have: [1]
      Tested for Allergies Step 1.jpg
    • Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
    • Allergic asthma
    • Dermatitis (eczema)
    • Food allergies
    • Penicillin allergy
    • poison allergy
    • Latex allergy
  2. Determine if you need a dot test, injection test or a patch test. There are various skin tests to diagnose different allergens. Your allergist will work with you to determine which test is right for you. Dot tests are often used to test too many allergens, such as pollen, mold, dander or food, at the same time. If you think you are allergic to poison or penicillin you should have an injection test. Consider getting a patch test if you think you have contact dermatitis. [2]
      Testing for Allergies Step 2.jpg
    • Patch tests are also good for diagnosing delayed reactions because the test lasts several days.

    [19659009] Avoid taking medications that may interfere with the skin test. Tell your allergist what medicines you are currently taking because some medications can prevent your skin from responding to an allergen. In general, you need to stop taking a drug that may interfere with about 10 days before the test. [3]

      Test for Allergies Step 3.jpg
    • You should stop taking prescriptions or anti-counter-anti-histamine, tricyclic antidepressants, some heartburn medicines and some asthma drugs.
  3. Get an injection to test for poison or penicillin allergies. You should test for a penicillin allergy if you had a reaction to it during childhood, because half of people with penicillin allergies lose the allergy five years after the last reaction. It is good to check if you still have the allergy.
      Testing for Allergies Step 4.jpg
    • If you receive an injection test, the nurse will dry the skin with an alcohol stick to sterilize it. Then they will inject a small amount of allergen into your skin.
    • This is a good test if you only want to check for 1 or 2 allergens.
  4. A skin test has been performed to test too many allergens at one time. The nurse will clean the forearm with an alcohol stick and draw a grid on the forearm. They rub a bit of an allergen next to every brand they made. Then they stitch each allergen with a needle to get it under your skin. [4]
      Testing for allergies Step 5.jpg
    • The nurse uses a separate needle to prick each allergen so that they do not "contaminate the test site.
  5. Apply If you think you are allergic to something your skin comes in contact with, the allergist will fill a rectangular patch with various allergens. They will attach the patch to your forearm or back and you wear it for 24 to 48 Patch tests look for allergic reactions to: [5]
      Testing for allergies Step 6.jpg
    • Drugs: lidocaine, tetracaine
    • Cosmetics: preservatives, fragrances, essential oils
    • Jewelry: nickel, cobalt
    • Latex: gloves, condoms
  6. Expect some discomfort where the skin is tested Your skin may react to an allergen before the test is over, it may get a little swollen or red. It can develop itchy bumps called whales. Keep in mind that any of these side effects may last for a few days. [6]
      Testing for allergies Step 7.jpg
    • Although rare, you may have a severe allergic reaction. This is why it is important to have skin testing done in an office that has access to emergency medication.
  7. Wait 20 to 40 minutes to get the results of dot or injection test. You can wait at the allergist's office to get the results of your test. Your skin test is the most accurate after the allergens have been on the skin for 20 to 30 minutes, although the allergist can read the test for up to 40 minutes in total. [7]
      Test for Allergies Step 8.jpg
    • Your allergist may want to look at your skin on the 20-minute, 30-minute and 40-minute mark.
  8. Return to the allergist's office for results for a patch test. You have to go back to the office after the patch has been on your skin for 24 to 48 hours. The allergist removes the patch and looks at your skin for signs of allergic reactions. [8]
      Testing for allergies Step 9.jpg
    • If the allergist wants to check delayed allergic reactions, they may want you to come back again 1 to 2 days later. Then they can check the skin for reactions that have developed over time.
  9. Discuss the results of the skin test with your allergist. When you wait for your skin to react, the allergist will look at your skin for redness, swelling or itchy bumps. Then you can work with the allergist to decide whether to make lifestyle changes, take medications or change your diet. [9]
      Testing for allergies Step 10.jpg
    • If your skin still feels uncomfortable after the test, ask if you should take antihistamines.

[ Edit ] Get a blood test

  1. Ask for a blood test if you have a skin condition and cannot perform a skin test. Your allergist may recommend a blood test if you have eczema or psoriasis. You should also not have a skin test if the allergist suspects you may have a serious reaction or if you are taking a drug that may interfere with skin testing and you cannot stop taking it. [10]
      Testing for allergies Step 11.jpg
    • These drugs include antihistamines, oral steroids and H2 blocking drugs.
  2. Get your blood to test for pollen, medicine and animal allergies. A phlebotomist draws blood from a vein in his arm and sends the sample to a laboratory. The laboratory tests antibodies that respond to: [11]
      Testing for allergies Step 12.jpg
    • Pollen
    • Mold
    • Dust mites
    • Animal Dander [19659009] Insect sticks [19659009] Latex
    • Some medications, such as penicillin or amoxicillin
  3. Expect less discomfort and minimal side effects. You do not respond to the test itself, but you may feel pain in the arm as the needle draws blood. Your surrounding skin may swell a little and feel sore after pulling. [12]
      Testing for allergies Step 13.jpg
    • If you faint at the sight of blood, you can ask the phlebotomist to tell you when to look away from the needle.
  4. Wait several days or weeks to get the results of the blood test. Because blood work must be sent to a laboratory and analyzed, you will not be able to get the test results at the same meeting when your blood is drawn.
      Testing for allergies Step 14.jpg
    • If you have not returned the results after 1 to 2 weeks, call your allergist and ask when you can expect the results of the laboratory.
  5. Talk to the allergist about your blood test results. Your allergist can talk to you via phone about the lab work or they will ask you to come back to their office. If you tested positive for antibodies it means that you are allergic to certain substances and your body produces antibodies to fight them. [13]
      Testing for allergies Step 15.jpg
    • If you have a negative result, the allergist will probably say you do not have an allergy.

[ Edit ] Tips

  • If you currently have an allergic reaction to something, your allergist may wait until it clears before you test.
  • You may want to be tested for allergies throughout your life. Some people develop new allergies or grow out allergies that they have had since childhood.

[ Edit ] Warnings

  • Avoid using allergy kits that you make yourself at home as the results are often unreliable. [14]

[ Edit ] References

  1. [1945 https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/allergy -tests/ om / pac-20392895
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/allergy-tests/about/pac-20392895
  3. http: // www .aaoallergy. org / wp-content / uploads / 2017/05/2015-Clinical-Care-Statements-Medicines-to-Avoid-Before-Allergy-Skin-Testing.pdf
  4. https://www.mayoclinic. org / tests-procedures / allergy-tests / about / pac-20392895
  5. [1945 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK367583/
  6. [1945 https: / /www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/allergy-tests/about/pac-20392895 Chapter19659084vard ↑ https: // www. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21703100??19659085strong↑ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21703100
  7. [1945 https://www.mayoclinic. org / tests-procedures / allergy-tests / om / pac-20392895
  8. [1945 https://acaai.org/allergies/allergy-treatment/allergy-testing
  9. https: // www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21885690vud19659089vard↑ https://www.webmd.com/allergies/blood-test#2
  10. https://www. webmd.com/allergies/blood-test#2ebrit19659091achte↑ https://www.choosingwisely.org/patient-resources/allergy-tests/

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