What Does Allergy Test Mean?
Allergy tests are performed to identify specific substances that can trigger a person to have an allergic reaction. There are several methods of conducting allergy tests, including skin tests and blood tests.
Skin tests are more common as they produce faster results. A small amount of the suspected allergen is placed on the skin to provoke a small, controlled, allergic response. These skin tests are usually conducted on the forearm, upper arm, or back. Several allergens can be tested at the same time. The skin is then monitored for swelling and redness or other signs of a reaction.
Safeopedia Explains Allergy Test
There are several common methods of allergy testing: skin (including prick, scratch, scrape and patch tests), intradermal (where a small amount of allergen is inserted just under the skin), and blood tests. Blood allergy tests are not considered as sensitive as skin tests.
The prick, scratch and scrape testing methods are known as immediate reaction tests. The patch and blood testing methods are referred to as delayed reaction tests. Several allergy tests can be used to supplement each other and provide the most accurate results.
In rare cases, allergy tests can produce a false negative result. Some medicines can affect the results of an allergy test. Symptoms and results from allergy tests are used by doctors to suggest lifestyle and dietary changes.