Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Allergy Test

Allergy Test – the Procedures

An allergy test is performed in order to determine what types of substances or allergens cause you to have an allergic reaction. Skin tests are usually preferred since they typically can be performed quickly and experts believe they provide reliable information and typically cost less than taking a blood allergy test.

Skin Test

During a skin test a small portion of the allergen that your doctor believes might be causing your allergic reactions is put on your skin and sometimes it’s placed under your skin in order to find out if you have an allergic reaction to the allergen. Three types of skin tests are available.

The skin prick test is performed by putting a drop of a solution which includes the allergen that might be causing you problems on your skin and then numerous scratches of the skin are made in order to allow the solution to penetrate your skin. If you notice a red area that is raised up and itchy you probably have an allergy to the allergen that is being tested. This is known as having a positive reaction to the allergen.

Regarding the Intradermal test a small portion of the solution which contains the allergen is injected into your skin. This allergy test is typically done when the skin prick test did not create a positive reaction to the allergen you are testing but your doctor still believes the allergen might be the problem.

The procedure for the skin patch allergy test involves putting the allergen solution on a pad which is attached to the skin with tape and left there for twenty-four to seventy-two hours. The skin patch test is primarily used to determine if a person has a skin allergy known as contact dermatitis.

Blood Test

A blood allergy test is used to search for substances in your blood known as antibodies. Experts claim that blood tests are less sensitive than skin tests but are utilized for patients who cannot have skin tests performed on them. The enzyme connected immunosorbent assay is the most often used blood allergy test. The test is utilized to measure the amount of an antibody known as immunoglobulin E or IgE that is in the blood which your body might produce while responding to certain types of allergies.

The IgE levels are typically higher with patients who are dealing with allergies or asthma. In some cases other tests may be utilized in order to acquire additional information. If you think you might have an allergy it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor who will probably recommend that you take an allergy test.

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