Allergy Skin Tests
If you suffer from allergies, you may want to consider receiving allergy shots to reduce or remove them. Allergy shots can improve your quality of life significantly. However, many people worry about the first part of the process, which is to take an allergy skin test. Does this test hut? Is there anything else to worry about? This guide will put all your fears to rest.
The Skin Test
Before you receive allergy shots, you need to receive a test to see how severe your allergy is. This tells the doctor how much of your allergen should be in each shot. The most common test for this is called a skin test. The test involves a little bit of your allergen being scratched into your skin so the doctor can observe the reaction you have. The test is usually done on the forearm or back. The pain experienced during a skin test is extremely minor. It may hurt for only a few moments. If your skin reacts poorly to the test, you may feel some discomfort, such as inflammation or itchiness. The test usually takes about 20 minutes.
There are very few risks involved with a skin test, although it is theoretically possible for it to trigger a severe allergic reaction. In the very rare case that this happens, you will already be in a doctor’s office where the reaction can be treated immediately. There is essentially no risk of bodily harm or death.
If you are pregnant, have heart problems, or severe asthma, you should tell your doctor before doing the skin test. These conditions will not complicate the skin test, but they may make allergy shots too dangerous, which would render the skin test unnecessary.
The Blood Test
It is also possible to have a blood test instead of a skin test. In this test, a small amount of your blood is drawn and then sent to a lab to be tested. This alternative test has no risks and only involves a pinprick. Medication may interfere with the results of a skin test, making a blood test more reliable. Blood tests usually take several days or weeks to be completed and are more expensive, which is why they are not the standard allergy test. In all likelihood, you will receive a skin test instead when considering allergy shots. If you have any concerns, you should always discuss them with your doctor, or an allergist in Gainesville, VA from Black & Kletz Allergy. However, allergy shots and skin tests are incredibly safe and reliable.