Categorized | Skin Care

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Different Kinds of Allergy Tests

Before, if you wanted to see what you were allergic to you would have to have several tests that could take weeks or months before getting any news back. If your allergy was to something exceptional, it could take years or often you would not even find out what is the cause of your allergies.

If you suffered from seasonal allergies, they may have gone away before the testing clinic was able to see what was bothering you, and you would stop clinic testing and go back to regular life as before. It just took too long to obtain any definite results from tests. This method has all been revamped and is more up-to-date and speedier nowadays, however if you are being tested for allergies, it is likely that you will go through a number of tests still to determine what you are actually allergic to.

This certainly as well depends on what medical history you have. There are three procedures that a clinic or hospital can use to test you for allergies. These are a skin test, elimination test, and a blood test. Indeed each of these tests has its upsides and downsides and a good doctor will be able to decide which one is necessary for you to start with in order to obtain the best results.

Skin Test

This is the most common of the test used to determine allergy substances. This involves placing a small amount of suspected allergens on your skin. Most of the time the area used is your forearm. In some cases this may also include the upper arm or back. The next step is to prick that area of the skin so that the allergen is allowed to literally get under your skin. The process is that if you are allergic to the allergen then you woul have a skin reaction in the next 10-15 minutes. This reaction can include redness, swelling and itching. It should be stated that in rare circumstances this test can lead to a dramatic allergic reaction that includes issues with the respiratory system.

A different kind of skin test is the intradermal allergy test. This test includes using a small needle to inject the allergen underneath the skin. Skin tests are often used to pin point things in the air that you breathe in that might be the cause of your allergy to insect and animal bites as well.

Elimination Test

The next type of test that is used for allergy testing is called the elimination test and is commonly used to pinpoint diet and food allergies. As the name implies the test process will have you add certain foods to your meals or take away certain foods from your meals and then register your reaction. Most of the time this is performed with the food being camouflaged so that no psychological factors can impede the accuracy of the test. You may sincerely dislike or believe you are allergic to something that you may not really be allergic to.

Blood Test

The final technique to test for allergies is the blood test. This process involves taking a small amount of blood that is then submitted to laboratory testing. They will expose your blood to a number of known allergens and look for any reactions to them. This will take the form of your blood creating IgE antibodies that can then be detected. This allows the lab to make a determination to what you are allergic to and to what degree of severity.

UniCAP and RAST are the two most common forms of allergy blood testing. The UniCAP is an almost entirely automated process with the ability to check for a large number of allergens and assign a severity level from 1 to 6 with any it finds. And while blood testing is probably the most accurate way to determine your allergic status it does require specialized, expensive equipment to run the tests. Because of this your hospital or clinic will probably send your blood sample out to a lab to get the work done and this can take time.

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