Skin prick test is a test that helps in finding out if a person is allergic to certain allergens. This is one of the most common allergy detecting tests.
Different people suffer from different allergies. The precise allergen that causes allergy is very difficult to detect since a person comes into contact with and eats a number of things every day. Skin prick test is a test that helps in determining allergens. Given below is an overview of the test.
A skin prick test is self explanatory as to the procedure used for testing. The test is conducted by pricking the skin and inserting a few drops of allergens in purified form just under the skin layer. In some cases, allergens are injected into the skin with the help of an injection syringe.
This procedure is used to test allergy towards certain kinds of drugs such as penicillin. Reaction of the body to the induced allergens lets the doctor know which particles a person is allergic to. Some of the most common particles that are used for testing are dust mites, different kinds of foods, pet dander and dust. These particles are inserted in the forearm region for testing.
The other common allergy testing methods are blood test, skin patch test and intra-dermal test
Allergies are common health conditions and affect 35 million in United States alone
Usually, prior to testing with specific allergens, skin prick test is conducted using glycerin or histamine. Since these are common allergens and a lot of people are allergic to them, body’s reaction to these particles gives doctors a good idea about how a person’s body will react when actual allergens are introduced. If a person does not react to these two allergens, the chances of false negatives or false positives are higher.
Since different people are allergic to different substances, the patient’s history of allergies is taken into consideration and a few things are narrowed down for testing. A lancet is used to prick and insert the allergen into the skin.
If the allergen causes reaction, the skin becomes itchy and slight rashes develop on the skin. It usually takes around 20 to 25 minutes for the reaction to complete. Severity of reaction is noted for each allergen used.
This test is most popular form of allergy testing because it is literally painless, easy to conduct and covers a wide range of allergens. Almost 25 different kinds of allergens can be tested using this procedure. The test is quick and can give concrete results.
Allergies can be dangerous. So, it is important to identify allergens and avoid them. Skin prick test is the best way to do so.