Allergies can be frustrating and sometimes dangerous for a number of people across the globe. The key when dealing with allergies is to find the root cause, or the allergen, that is causing you problems. Once you have discovered what it is exactly that you are allergic to, you can treat the problem and continue living without as many issues. To test for allergies, your doctor can opt for a skin or blood test to determine the severity of your allergies.There are pros and cons to the skin-based allergy testing, and it might be helpful when deciding if this type of testing is right for you.
Pro: Completed in a Timely Manner
The two ways the skin test are preformed are either by placing the allergen extract on your skin and scratching the surface to see if any reactions occur or by injecting the extract directly into your skin. Either way, your results are available within 10 to 15 minutes. The doctor or nurse performing your test can inject or test several different allergens at the same time to speed up the process as well.
Con: Reactions Might Occur
Since you are injecting or directly placing what is making you have issues on your skin, it is always important to have a medical professional present to help if any allergic reactions occur. The extracts used should be the highest quality available, which might increase your chance for a reaction. The professionals present will help if needed, but the test will also make it very clear what your allergens are.
Pro: The Test Is Not Painful
The thought of needles and scratching might have you raising an eyebrow, but have no fear because the test is not painful at all. If you happen to have an allergy to a specific allergen used, the area that was in contact with the extract might be itchy for a while, but this is only temporary and will resolve itself in a timely manner. The needles used are very small and do not hurt the skin when injected. Think of it as a back scratch that could potentially solve your allergy problems!
Con: Must Stop Taking Medications
Don't worry, this is just temporary. If you regularly take antihistamines, you will more than likely be asked by your doctor to discontinue them for several days prior to your test. With antihistamines in your system, the test cannot accurately tell what you are allergic to or not. Being prepared for this might help you when you are planning for your allergy test as some times of the year might cause you more allergy issues than others.
For more information on allergy testing, talk to your doctor.