If you are one of the more than 50 million people in the United States with allergies, chances are all you can think about is how to put an end to your allergy symptoms. After all, Charlotte allergies are among the worst in the nation. But before our allergists can recommend allergy treatment, they must find out what you are allergic to. Our allergists can do just that by performing allergy testing. By themselves the test results cannot diagnose allergies, but when interpreted alongside a patient’s medical history they can identify specific allergens.
Allergy testing can be performed on adults and children, and may be done in one of two ways.
During an allergy skin test, an allergist tests for many suspected allergens at once by pricking or scratching the skin on the back or forearm. Redness and swelling will appear around the test spot if you are allergic to one of the tests. Another type of skin test requires that a small amount of the suspect allergen be injected into a patient’s arm. Most positive reactions to allergy skin tests will appear within 20 minutes. Skin tests should be avoided if you have a skin condition like psoriasis or eczema. Skin tests can also irritate the sensitive skin of babies and young children.
Blood tests cost more than skin allergy tests and can take several days to provide results. Still, there are several reasons a blood test may be used instead of a skin test. Many medicines can interfere with skin testing and mustbe stopped before the skin test can be performed. Strong allergens can also cause strong reactions after a skin test.
Our trained Charlotte allergists will discuss both kinds of allergy tests to find the right one for you.