If you suffer from allergies and you aren't sure of everything that sets them off, then you may want to have the allergist perform an allergy skin test. Before you go in to have your test done, you may feel better by gaining some education on what this is, what you can expect, and what it can do for you. This short guide will be very helpful in making you feel more informed about the procedure.
A skin prick test can test for up to 40 things
When you go in to have a skin prick test done, you can be checked for as many as 40 different possible allergies. This test is done by making marks on your back with a pen that signifies which possible allergens have been put in which places.
After your back has been properly marked, droplets of allergens will be put in the appropriate spots and small needles will prick your skin. It will be such a small prick it won't even cause any bleeding. A fresh needle is used for each prick, so the allergens all stay separated.
In about 15 minutes, you will be checked to see if your skin is showing any signs of you being allergic to any of the possible allergens. A bump that itches will appear on your skin if you are allergic to a specific allergen. The bump will be measured, and the reactions will be charted. Then, everything will be cleaned off your back.
Some of the things commonly checked include the following
Some of the things that are commonly checked for with this type of test include things like pet dander, dust, foods, medications, pollen, bee venom, latex, and many other possible allergens that tend to be common allergens in many people, as well as specific things that you feel you may possibly be allergic to.
What you can do with this information
Once you get the results back from your skin prick test, you will know what things you are allergic to and this allows you to take the appropriate steps to prevent exposure to these things as best you can. Some things you may not be able to completely eliminate from your life, such as pollen, but you can take steps to at least cut down on the amount of time you are subjected to those things. For pollen, you can use a better filter in your HVAC unit, keep your windows shut on windy days, and drive with your windows rolled up.