If it is common for you to contract itching, headaches, and redness on your arms or legs without a known cause, there may be chances that you frequently come in contact with substances that you are allergic to. You could be surrounded by materials you are allergic to at home or work without even realizing it. For instance, an individual could be allergic to wood dust and work amongst lumber supplies, or a chef could be allergic to certain foods yet still cook with them daily.
Being in the vicinity of things you are allergic to can be deteriorating one health, and also life-endangering in case of serious allergies. This is why allergen testing should be taken seriously, and given below is what you need to know about it:
What Is Allergy Testing?
Allergy testing is essentially a process through which healthcare professionals can identify what substances a human body is allergic towards. In this process, healthcare professionals test how an individual’s body reacts toward certain substances or allergens, and an allergic reaction signifies confirmation of an allergy.
Not all individuals need to be allergic to the same things rather different individuals have distinct propensities towards allergies. For instance, while an individual may have a peanut allergy, their sibling doesn’t need to be allergic to peanuts as well.
Types of Allergy Testing?
There exist several types of allergy tests, and the test that each patient is subjected to depends on their symptoms and the plausible allergens affecting them. Some of the most common types of allergy tests include:
1. Skin prick test
The skin prick allergy test is pretty self-explanatory. A healthcare professional would place droplets of potential allergens on bare skin followed by the introduction of a device that would puncture tiny holes to allow the allergens to enter your skin. If you are indeed allergic to any of the substances tested, your skin is likely to display signs of redness in that particular area. This test is common for detecting food and air-borne allergies.
2. Patch test
A patch test is specifically used to determine the cause of dermatitis and to understand which product you may be using that your body is showing allergic reactions towards. In a patch test, a few drops of an allergen are placed on your arm and covered with a bandage, or the allergen may be applied on the bandage and then introduced to your skin. After some time, the bandage is removed to check for an allergic reaction.
3. Blood test
A blood test is also a common allergy testing procedure in which a blood sample is taken from the individual wanting to undergo allergy testing. The sample is then tested in a laboratory where the healthcare professional may introduce different allergens to the blood sample and then measure the level of antibodies produced due to the allergen. However, blood tests aren’t always as accurate as skin prick and patch tests.
What To Do If You Have An Allergy?
If you do have an allergy specific to a certain allergen, you should be careful to minimize your exposure to that allergen. You should also make it a point to take allergy medication and allergy shots if prescribed by your doctor. It is also a good idea to have a medical alert card handy for serious allergies and carry an EpiPen for anaphylactic allergic reactions.