What Is Skin Allergy Test?
Skin allergy tests are a group of tests where your skin is exposed to suspected allergy-causing elements (allergens). The expert then observes various signs of an allergic reaction. By doing allergy tests, your doctor will understand whether a specific element you touch, breathe or eat is causing allergic symptoms.
An allergy or hypersensitivity is the reaction of your body’s immune system. Your immune system fights back with foreign particles like viruses and bacteria. But if you develop an allergy, your immune system detects an innocuous substance, like dust or pollen, as a threat. To fight this professed threat, your immune system reacts and develops an allergic reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction could be sneezing, a stuffy nose to a life-threatening condition known as anaphylactic shock.
Four primary types of overreactions (known as Type 1 through Type IV hypersensitivities) are there. Type 1 hypersensitivity is the prime cause of most common allergies. These include dust mites, pollens, foods, and animal dander. Other types of hypersensitivities may produce different types of immune system overreactions. An allergy skin test evaluates allergies that are caused by Type 1 hypersensitivity. T
The cost of the allergy test is Rs.2500 to Rs.5000, depending on your location and place.
Please check the price of the allergy test in Delhi/NCR, your nearby centers and other details.
|Also known as||Type 1 Hypersensitivity Skin Test, Hypersensitivity Test Allergy Scratch Test, Allergy Patch Test, Intradermal Test|
|Allergy test includes||To check the common causes of allergy|
|Preparation||You may need to stop certain medications like antihistamines and antidepressants|
|Reporting||Within 24 hrs/2-3 days|
|Test price||The cost of the allergy test is Rs.2500 to Rs.5000, depending on your location and place.|
|Also included in||Health Insurance Plans|
|Related tests||Allergy blood test|
Why do you need an allergy test?
Your doctor may recommend this test to diagnose various allergic conditions, including:
- Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
- Allergic asthma
- Dermatitis (eczema)
- Food allergies
- Penicillin allergy
- Bee venom allergy
Though skin tests are safe for all, they are not recommended every time. Your doctor may advise against skin testing if you:
1. Had a Severe Allergic Reaction
If you are sensitive to some particular substances that are used in tiny amounts in skin tests, this could develop a life-threatening reaction (anaphylaxis).
2. Take Medications that may hamper your Test Results
Medications like antihistamines, many antidepressants and some heartburn medications may affect your test results. Consult your doctor if you are taking these medications. You may need to stop them temporarily.
3. Have Certain Skin Conditions
If you have severe eczema or psoriasis that is affecting a large portion of your arms and back, then your doctor won’t recommend a skin test. Other skin tests like dermatographism may be the most reliable option.
Blood tests (in vitro immunoglobulin E antibody tests) can be beneficial for people who can’t go for skin tests. Blood tests aren’t used for penicillin allergy.
During the Test Procedure
A dermatologist or an allergist will perform your test. You may need to perform the below-mentioned allergy skin tests.
1. An Allergy Scratch Test or a Skin Prick Test
During the Test
- Your healthcare provider will put up small drops of specific allergens at various spots on your skin
- The test provider will lightly scratch or prick your skin while giving each drop
- If you are allergic to specific substances, then within 15-20 minutes, you may develop a small red bump at the site or sites.
2. An Intradermal Test
During the Test
- Your healthcare provider will inject a small amount of allergen just below the skin surface with a tiny and thin needle.
- He will observe the site to check for a reaction
- If you test negative for a scratch test, then your doctor may recommend this test if he thinks you still have an allergy.
3. An Allergy Patch Test
During the Test
- A healthcare provider will place small patches on your skin. These patches may look like adhesive bandages. They possess small amounts of specific allergens.
- You may return these patches after wearing them for 48 to 96 hours
- Your health caregiver will remove the patches and check for rashes or reactions
The Preparation for the Test
If you are taking medicines like antidepressants or antihistamines, then inform your doctor about the same. Your doctor may ask you to stop the medications temporarily before the tests.
The test results,
Before leaving the test center or the doctor’s office, you may get to know the results of a skin testing or an intradermal test. The results of a patch test will come after 2-3 days.
In the skin test, if you test positive for a particular substance, this means you have hypersensitivity towards that particular substance. But the skin tests are not accurate; they sometimes indicate a false positive or false negative.
Based on your test results, your doctor may recommend various treatment plans including medications, immunotherapy, work or home environment changes, and dietary changes. By opting for the right treatment, you can eliminate allergy signs and symptoms.
Are allergy tests safe?
A skin test could be slightly irritating but most people don’t get hurt during the test. Whole-body reactions to allergy skin tests are very occasional. But inform your doctor if you develop
Swelling on your face, lips, and mouth
Difficulties in chewing
Can you eat before an allergy test?
Eat something so that you don’t reach an empty stomach to the center. But don’t eat anything that causes an allergic reaction.
Can you take shower before an allergy test?
Showering, bathing or swimming is not permitted for a patch test. Too much sweat or water will remove the patches from your skin, so the test will become useless.
What happens if a patch test is negative?
If there is no reaction to your skin for patch testing, then the results are negative. This may occur when your allergy is not due to skin problems.
Is patch testing uncomfortable?
The patch testing procedure is simple and painless. To perform the test, your doctor may cover your skin with several patches that contain various potential chemicals. These chemicals need to stay on your skin for 48 hours, and they become dry during this time.