What doctor do you see for skin allergies
Allergy tests may result in mild itching, redness, and swelling of the skin. Sometimes, little bumps called wheals appear on the skin.
These symptoms often clear up within hours but may final for a few days. Mild topical steroid creams can alleviate these symptoms.
On rare occasions, allergy tests produce an immediate, severe allergic reaction that requires medical attention. That’s why allergy tests should be conducted in an office that has adequate medications and equipment, including epinephrine to treat anaphylaxis, which is a potentially life-threatening acute allergic reaction.
Call your doctor correct away if you develop a severe reaction correct after you leave the doctor’s office.
Call 911 immediately if you own symptoms of anaphylaxis, such as swelling of the throat, difficulty breathing, a quick heart rate, or low blood pressure. Severe anaphylaxis is a medical emergency.
Types of allergens
Allergens are substances that can cause an allergic reaction.
There are three primary types of allergens:
- Ingested allergens are present in certain foods, such as peanuts, soy, and seafood.
- Inhaled allergens affect the body when they come in contact with the lungs or membranes of the nostrils or throat. Pollen is the most common inhaled allergen.
- Contact allergens must come in contact with your skin to produce a reaction. An example of a reaction from a contact allergen is the rash and itching caused by poison ivy.
Allergy tests involve exposing you to a extremely little quantity of a specific allergen and recording the reaction.
Insect sting allergy tests »
Why allergy testing is performed
Allergies affect more than 50 million people living in the USA, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
Inhaled allergens are by far the most common type. Seasonal allergies and hay fever, which is an allergic response to pollen, affect more than 40 million Americans.
The World Allergy Organization estimates that asthma is responsible for 250,000 deaths annually. These deaths can be avoided with proper allergy care, as asthma is considered an allergic disease process.
Allergy testing can determine which specific pollens, molds, or other substances you’re allergic to.
You may need medication to treat your allergies. Alternatively, you can attempt to avoid your allergy triggers.
Main allergy symptoms
Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- a raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
- tummy pain, feeling ill, vomiting or diarrhoea
- itchy, red, watering eyes (conjunctivitis)
- wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and a cough
- swollen lips, tongue, eyes or face
- sneezing and an itchy, runny or blocked nose (allergic rhinitis)
- dry, red and cracked skin
The symptoms vary depending on what you’re allergic to and how you come into contact with it.
For example, you may have a runny nose if exposed to pollen, develop a rash if you own a skin allergy, or feel sick if you eat something you’re allergic to.
See your GP if you or your kid might own had an allergic reaction to something. They can assist determine whether the symptoms are caused by an allergy or another condition.
Read more about diagnosing allergies.
How allergy testing is performed
An allergy test may involve either a skin test or a blood test. You may own to go on an elimination diet if your doctor thinks you might own a food allergy.
If there’s a chance you’ll own a severe allergic reaction to a skin test, your doctor may call for a blood test.
The blood is tested in a laboratory for the presence of antibodies that fight specific allergens. This test, called ImmunoCAP, is extremely successful in detecting IgE antibodies to major allergens.
Skin tests are used to identify numerous potential allergens. This includes airborne, food-related, and contact allergens. The three types of skin tests are scratch, intradermal, and patch tests.
Your doctor will typically attempt a scratch test first.
During this test, an allergen is placed in liquid, then that liquid is placed on a section of your skin with a special tool that lightly punctures the allergen into the skin’s surface. You’ll be closely monitored to see how your skin reacts to the foreign substance. If there’s localized redness, swelling, elevation, or itchiness of the skin over the test site, you’re allergic to that specific allergen.
If the scratch test is inconclusive, your doctor may order an intradermal skin test. This test requires injecting a tiny quantity of allergen into the dermis layer of your skin. Again, your doctor will monitor your reaction.
Another form of skin test is the patch test ().
This involves using adhesive patches loaded with suspected allergens and placing these patches on your skin. The patches will remain on your body after you leave your doctor’s office. The patches are then reviewed at 48 hours after application and again at 72 to 96 hours after application.
An elimination diet may assist your doctor determine which foods are causing you to own an allergic reaction. It entails removing certain foods from your diet and later adding them back in.
Your reactions will assist determine which foods cause problems.
Allergies: Should I get a RAST test or a skin test? »
How to prepare for allergy testing
Before your allergy test, your doctor will enquire you about your lifestyle, family history, and more.
They’ll most likely tell you to stop taking the following medications before your allergy test because they can affect the test results:
- anti-IgE monoclonal antibody asthma treatment, omalizumab (Xolair)
- benzodiazepines, such as diazepam (Valium) or lorazepam (Ativan)
- prescription and over-the-counter antihistamines
- certain heartburn treatment medications, such as famotidine (Pepcid)
- tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline (Elavil)
Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
In rare cases, an allergy can lead to a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, which can be life threatening.
This affects the whole body and usually develops within minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to.
Signs of anaphylaxis include any of the symptoms above, as well as:
Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.
Read more about anaphylaxis for information about what to do if it occurs.
Sheet final reviewed: 22 November 2018
Next review due: 22 November 2021
An allergy test is an exam performed by a trained allergy specialist to determine if your body has an allergic reaction to a known substance. The exam can be in the form of a blood test, a skin test, or an elimination diet.
Allergies happen when your immune system, which isyour body’s natural defense, overreacts to something in your environment.
For example, pollen, which is normally harmless, can cause your body to overreact. This overreaction can lead to:
- blocked sinuses
- a runny nose
- itchy, watery eyes