Allergy Skin Test Services 101: Common Patient FAQs
From mold and pet dander to insects and wood, skin allergy tests can be effective at determining if someone is allergic to a certain thing. Additionally, these tests can be effective at determining how severe an allergy is. If you suspect that you have allergies, you will likely have a few questions. Here is a look at some of the most common questions and the answers you should know.
Is it possible to have a severe allergic reaction during the test?
The allergens that you are being tested for are only barely under the skin's surface. It is far different than actually ingesting or inhaling an allergen that could cause a major reaction from inside the body. It would be really rare for a patient to experience a major allergic reaction with dangerous consequences during a skin test for allergies.
Are allergy skin tests painful?
The needles used for the allergy skin test are incredibly small; you will barely feel anything as the pricks are done on your skin. Further, the pricks do not have to be deep at all. The allergist will only be putting the allergen just under the top layers of the skin to measure for a reaction. At most, you will probably feel some minimal discomfort or stinging. After the test, you may have some mild burning or stinging as well, especially if you are allergic to some of the test allergens you were given during the test and it causes a bit of inflammation.
Can allergy skin tests be done on children?
Allergy skin tests can be done on patients of all ages. Keep in mind, however, the younger the patient, the less accurate the test will be for determining if allergies are present. In general, allergists will not perform skin tests for allergies on children who are under six months of age, according to Healthline.
Can the allergist use a numbing agent before the test?
If you have a fear of the slight prickling of the needles used during the test, the allergist may use a cream to numb the area slightly before the test begins. However, most allergists do prefer to avoid using solutions like lidocaine because the solution could affect the skin cells and trigger what looks like an allergic reaction when there is actually not. People who are afraid of needles to a severe degree may want to consider other types of allergy testing.
For more information, contact a clinic that offers allergy skin test services.