Do You Think You Have An Allergy? Confirm It By Correct Diagnosis

August 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Allergies

There are various symptoms of a running nose or red marks on your skin. You need to get proper consultation to decide if it is due to any allergic reaction/s. It can be diagnosed by performing some methods like skin test or blood test.

Tests That Confirm Allergy

Skin test or prick tests are the most common tests for detecting allergies. For performing this test you need a small quantity of allergen, a non parasitic antigen or alternatively a solution of dander. A dander is a material containing scales of dried skin and hair, or feathers of animals. These items are injected into the skin. It is recommended that you stop all regular medicines including Benadryl, Claritin for a given period, while tests are being conducted, to get better results. In case you are taking antihistamine, Allergen (fexofenadine) then you are, required to perform these tests after a week of discontinuation of the medicine.

The doctor may put the patient through some other skin tests for diagnosis also.

Percutaneous test – In this process few drops of the non parasitic antigen, allergen are pricked near the surface of the skin. This test is used to diagnose allergic sensitivity towards pollen or dust mite waste or mold or animal dander etc.

Intracutaneous test – The process is done by injecting the allergen into the skin at a more deep level than the Percutaneous test. Allergies arising due to bee venom or wasp venom or from penicillin antibiotics can be detected by this method.

Epicutaneous test – An allergen patch is applied on the skin for certain duration. A patch test helps to detect skin allergies caused due to sensitivity of skin to perfumes. It also arises due to preservatives or chemical reactions of hair dyes on the skin. This is known as contact dermatitis. The doctor then studies the reaction on the skin and medicates him accordingly.

The tests are carried out on the forearm for the adults and on the upper portion of the back in case of children. The injections and the tests given to detect the allergies are not at all painful. A person may suffer a little uneasiness if he is allergic. The tests help the doctors to bring out the allergic reactions of the skin. The most common allergy symptoms are itching, swelling and redness of the skin. The doctor must know the medical history of the patient. The allergist guides the patients regarding the type of test to be done. This helps the doctor to know harsh reactions or anaphylaxis that the patient may suffer from during the tests.

Blood Tests for Allergic reactions

Blood tests are costly but less accurate than skin tests. However, it is recommended for people who have a sensitive skin and skin test cannot be performed on them. A little quantity of blood is taken from the patient’s body to carry out this test. In this process the percent of IgE (immunoglobulin) present in the blood is measured.

Mostly people suffer from mild allergy. These mild allergies are continual and need to be cured by proper tests and medication.