There are various tests that you can choose from, and it is imperative that you choose what is right for you with your doctor’s advice.
During a skin prick test:
- The allergist will place a few small drops of a specific type of allergen below the surface of the skin.
- The allergist will either prick or scratch on the skin after each drop of allergen.
- A small red bump will appear on the skin after 15 to 20 minutes have passed — if you are allergic to any of the allergens that were applied to your skin.
During an intradermal test:
- The allergist will inject a bit of allergen below the surface of the skin.
- The allergist will then watch for any allergic reactions on the skin.
This test is usually done when your previous allergy skin tests show a negative result. An allergist does this test when they also suspect that you are allergic to a specific allergen.
During a patch test:
- A patch will be placed on the skin, and these patches contain a small amount of a specific type of allergen.
- This patch should be worn for 48 to 96 hours and after that time period, you must visit the allergist again.
- The allergist will then remove the patch and check the skin for any allergic reactions.
During a blood test:
- The allergist will use a small needle and take a sample of your blood from the vein in your arm.
- The blood sample will be kept in a tube or a vial.
- This process would take less than five minutes.
- If the results show high levels of lgE then that means that you are allergic to something. This result will not show what type of allergen you are allergic to though. To know what type of allergen you are allergic to, a specific lgE test must be performed.
What Do the Results Mean?
Normal results/negative results mean that there were no allergic reactions on the skin after all the skin allergy tests. However, there are rare cases where a person getting a negative result is actually allergic to something.
A positive test result means that you are allergic to something. The allergist will see this small red bump on the skin called a wheal. If the allergic reaction on the skin is intense then that implies that you are sensitive to that specific allergen that was applied.
The easiest and most accurate way to know if you are allergic to something is to undergo a series of allergy skin tests. Allergy skin tests will also be able to show what type of allergen you are allergic to, so allergists will know what type of treatments to provide to keep allergic reactions at bay.
Learn more about Skin Allergies here.