Allergies affect more than 50 million Americans and can increase the risk of getting asthma by 10 to 40 percent. Finding out what you are allergic to is an important first step to managing your allergic condition and to help find asthma triggers.
Allergy testing is convenient and accurate and when combined with a detailed medical history it can help find the specific cause of an allergic reaction. Testing can help find allergies to pollen, molds, dust mites, animal allergens, insect stings, food and some medicines.
How do allergy tests perform?
Allergy testing can be performed either as skin testing or as blood tests. Our clinic performs both skin prick testing as well as intradermal test. For prick testing, a drop of a suspected allergen is pricked on the surface of the skin on the back of the forearm. Many suspected allergens can be tested at the same time. For intradermal testing, a small amount of the suspected allergen is injected into the skin or the forearm. Several suspected allergens can be tested at the same time. Skin testing is fast and has little or no pain. However, positive reactions cause itchy red bumps which look and feel like mosquito bites.
When patients are taking a medication that could interfere with skin tests, but cannon be stopped for a few days it is recommended that the patient undergo allergy blood testing. Allergy blood testing can also be used when the skin does not respond to skin testing as expected or to monitor specific food allergy levels over time.
Our Allergy Specialists
Contact us for more information on allergy testing at Rapid City Medical Center.