If your skin has been reddening
and swelling or you feel your throat tighten after you’ve
eaten a certain type of food or been around a pet, an allergy test
may be a good idea.
An allergy test is taken to confirm
or deny a person’s suspicions that they are allergic to a
certain substance. These tests can be skin tests, elimination-type
tests or blood tests.
A skin test is the most common
allergy test. Usually the skin test will be a scratch test where
a doctor will place an allergen on the skin and then scratch the
area so it goes under the skin. This allergy test is good for people
who may have insect bite allergies, a penicillin allergy or respiratory
Elimination usually works to
find food allergies. The allergy test involves a person eliminating
suspect foods from their diet and then re-introducing those foods
one at a time. Blood tests measure the amount of certain antibodies.
These are present if there is an actual allergic reaction.
To prepare for an allergy test,
a patient is asked not to take certain medications like antihistamines,
which can affect the results. A family medical history and lifestyle
analysis is also made by the doctor.