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Benefits of Allergy Testing:
Allergy tests, when combined with the specialization and precision of your allergist to interpret them, can give accurate information about your allergy. Allergy testing is a fairly safe and accurate procedure for both adults and children. Skin testing is done with plastic devices (no needles) testing for a variety of trees, grasses, weeds, molds and indoor allergies like dust mites, cats and dogs. On the other hand, skin testing is also done for more serious allergies caused by venom from stings of bees, wasps, fire ants, yellow jackets and other similar insects.
Skin testing is the most common way of performing an allergy test. It involves a small prick with a plastic device on the skin surface to deliver a very small amount of allergen and is relatively painless. In individuals with allergy to that particular introduced agent, a little swelling will occur. In such patients, these reactions typically occur within 15 minutes and often disappear within 30 minutes. However, if these skin tests are negative, but your physician suspects allergies, he or she may recommend the more sensitive intradermal test which involves injection of a small amount of allergen within the skin. These skin tests are done in your Allergist’s office to allow for observation and management in case of rare adverse effects.
Skin testing done in the allergist’s office is highly reliable. Allergists have unique training in the interpretation and management of individuals with allergies.
(Information only; not intended to replace medical advice; adapted from AAAAI)