At Walk-In To Wellness, we perform allergy testing on patients with chronic sinusitis, rashes, and asthma to determine what exposure causes inflammation and results in decreasing your immune system’s proper function. Allergy testing is one of the best ways to see if you have indoor, outdoor, or food allergies. We can then devise a treatment based on the results and over time help with many of your allergy symptoms, such as coughing, shortness of breath, stomach issues, and fatigue. Most importantly, your customized immunotherapy treatment is not simply covering up the symptoms, but improving your overall health.
What is an Allergy?
An allergy occurs when your body reacts to certain things – like pollen or cats – that don’t affect most people. If you come into contact with something you are allergic to (also called an allergen), you may have symptoms such as itching or sneezing. This is what is commonly called an allergic reaction.
How Skin Testing is Conducted
The best way to test for allergies is through what is known as skin testing. There are essentially two types of skin tests which doctors and health technicians perform:
- Scratch Testing – Also known as percutaneous testing. In this test, a minute drop of a potential allergen is scratched into the skin and the body’s reaction is closely monitored. This is the most common form of allergy testing.
- Intradermal Testing – In this test, a small amount of a potential allergen is injected under the skin using a thin needle. This type of testing is often used to test for allergies to insect stings or penicillin.
What to Expect During a Skin Test
During a skin test, a number of different allergens will usually be tested. It generally takes about five to 10 minutes to place the allergens on your skin. For adults, these allergens are usually placed on the forearm, whereas the back is the most common testing site for children. After the allergens are placed on the sin, the tester will wait roughly 15 minutes to see if any small, red lumps appear where any of the allergens were placed.
You should also be aware that the tests may hurt slightly. In addition, if you are sensitive to any of the allergens, your skin may itch at the location where the allergen was placed.
Preparing forSkin Testing
If you are scheduled to undertake allergy testing, here are some things you should do prior to testing:
- Tell your allergist about all the medicines you are taking, including any over-the-counter medicines.
- Do not take antihistamines for three to seven days prior to the test. Ask your allergist when to stop taking them. However, it is okay to use nasal steroid sprays and asthma medicines, as they will not interfere with skin tests. If you are unsure whether your medications may interfere with testing, talk to your allergist’s staff before the scheduled test.
Is Skin Testing Safe?
Only very small amounts of allergens are tested on your skin, meaning skin testing is perfectly safe. During the testing, the allergist will carefully monitor for any possible severe allergic reactions, but these very rarely occur.
Once your allergist administers the test, they will be able to quickly determine whether or not an allergic reaction is present. If you are sensitive to an allergen, a small, red bump usually appears on the skin where that allergen was placed. The larger the bump, the more sensitive you may be to it. These results are called positive skin tests and mean that you may be allergic to the allergen tested.
Even if a skin test shows that you’re allergic to something, however, you may not react to it when you’re exposed to it later. Your allergist will carefully review your medical history and skin test results to help find out what you’re allergic to.
What happens if the skin testshows I have allergies?
If your skin testing results are positive, your allergist will create a plan for controlling your allergies. This means preventing and treating symptoms. You should take the following steps to help reduce the chances of allergic reactions:
- Avoid or limit contact with your allergens. If you’re allergic to dust mites, for example, reduce the clutter in your house, which collects dust.
- Take the proper medicine to relieve your symptoms. Your allergist may prescribe medicines such as antihistamines, decongestants, nasal steroid sprays, or eye drops.
- Get allergy shots, especially if your allergist says you should. Allergy shots may be necessary when you cannot avoid an allergen. These shots contain a tiny, but
increasingamount of the allergen you are sensitive to. Whether given in shot form or orally under the tongue, immunotherapy involves giving gradually increasing doses of the substance to which you are allergic. These small increases over time in the amount of your allergen – things like dust, pollen, mold, and pet dander – cause the immune system to become less sensitive to it. This reduces your allergy symptoms when you come across the allergen in the future. Immunotherapy also reduces the inflammation that comes with hay fever and asthma.
Does My Insurance Cover Allergy Skin Testing?
The good news is that most health insurance plans cover both allergy testing and treatment. Just to be sure, ask your insurance provider:
- If you need a referral from your doctor to see an allergist.
- Whether your insurance covers patient education or special services for your allergies.
- What allergy testing and medicines your plan covers.
Schedule an AllergyTest and Consultation Today
Are you suffering from constant headaches, sneezing, itchiness or stuffy nose? At Walk-In to Wellness, we have everything you need to help you beat your allergies. We specialize in holistic and effective treatments for patients who want to get the most out of life. We offer a wide array of non-medicinal, alternative treatments for common health and wellness ailments. So if you are tired of dealing with the symptoms of allergies, text us today to start your wellness journey. Call us today or contact us via our chat down below.
A walk-in primary care office. In-person or video conference appointments can be scheduled by call, text, or walk-in.
1500 N. University Drive, #112
Coral Springs, FL 33071
Monday-Wednesday: 9am – 5pm
Friday & Saturday: 9am – 1pm
Thursday & Sunday: Closed