Three of the most frequently asked questions about allergies are answered here.
What happens during an allergy skin test?
Skin tests use a concentrated liquid form of common allergens like pollen, mold, dust mites, animal dander, and foods. Once the allergen gets in your skin, it may trigger a small reaction, like a rash. Your skin will get irritated and may itch. This reaction is how we can tell you’re allergic to a substance. When you have an allergy, your immune system will make antibodies and set off chemicals to fight the unwelcome invader.
How do I prepare for an allergy skin test?
Please let us know all medicines you’re taking, including over-the-counter products. Some drugs can interfere with the results, so we will give you a list of medicines to avoid before the test. Since allergy medicines, such as OTC antihistamines, stop allergic reactions, you shouldn’t take them for a few days before your test. You need to let your body react to the allergens in the test.
Is a skin test safe?
A skin test may be mildly irritating, but most people say it doesn’t hurt. Although you’re coming into contact with things you could be allergic to, they’re very small amounts. An allergy skin test is safe when done the right way. Whole-body reactions to skin testing are very rare, but are treatable.
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