If you have recently had an uptick in allergy symptoms, they may have become so bad that you feel that you need to see a doctor about them. Even after taking an in-depth medical history, you and your doctor may not have been able to pinpoint the exact cause.
Because of this, your doctor may have decided that you should have an allergy skin prick test. Because you have never had such a test, you may not know what to expect. Below are some answers to a couple of the questions that you may have about the test.
1. How Does the Skin Prick Test Detect Your Allergies?
One question you may have about the test is in regards to how it detects your allergies. During the procedure, the doctor will use small needles to make shallow pricks just underneath the top layer of your skin.
With each of these pricks, a tiny amount of different potential allergens are introduced, which may include molds, animal allergens, pollen, and dust. If you are allergic to one of these, there is no need to worry about having a full-blown reaction. Only enough allergen is introduced to trigger a localized reaction.
After marking each skin prick, the doctor will then watch for a reaction, which usually happens quickly. If there are any, they will then let you know what particular substances you are allergic to.
2. Is There Anything Special You Need to Do Before You Have the Test?
Another question you may have about the test may be in regards to what you need to do beforehand. Right before the test, you should make sure that your skin is clean and refrain from rubbing lotion on your skin.
Several days before the test, you will also be asked to stop any allergy medications that contain antihistamines. Since this is the ingredient in the medications that block the body's allergic reaction, you do not want any in your system that could interfere with the test.
Once the doctor pricks your skin with the various allergens, there should be reactions to the ones you are allergic to fairly quickly, especially if you have stopped all potential histamine-blocking medications several days before the test. Once you have finished the allergy skin testing, the doctor can then answer any further questions you may have as well decide what treatment plan would be the most beneficial based on your results.
Contact a clinic like Allergy Asthma Clinic of Fort Worth for more information.