Are they safe?
Of course, skin tests are typically safe for people of all ages, including infants, so there is nothing to worry about. But in case you have severe allergies, we would suggest that they should be avoided. You can also go for blood testing, it is another viable option.
Skin tests are trustworthy for airborne allergens such as pollen, dogs, and dust mites, and can help with identifying food allergies, if there are any.
Are there any risks involved?
It is important to note that skin testing frequently results in minor swelling, and red, itchy bumps (wheals), with more severe reactions in some individuals. Severe acute allergic reactions are uncommon but possible, which calls for the importance of testing in a properly equipped medical setting.
What can you expect?
Before administering a skin test, your doctor will review your symptoms and collect a complete medical history. We’ll look at your family’s history of allergies as well as any symptom-causing factors. You must tell your doctor about all of your prescription drugs because some of them may affect test results. Certain medications may need to be stopped for accurate testing depending on how they affect allergic reactions and removal from your system.
Skin test results may be affected by both prescription and over-the-counter antihistamines such as hydroxyzine, loratadine, diphenhydramine, cetirizine, and fexofenadine. Test accuracy may be affected by tricyclic antidepressants like nortriptyline and desipramine, as well as several medications for heartburn such as cimetidine and ranitidine and the asthma medicine omalizumab.
How long does it take to get results? Patch tests take longer to get results than skin prick or intradermal tests. So, if there is a positive result, it suggests the possibility of allergies to particular chemicals, with larger wheals indicating more sensitivity. Likewise, the negative result suggests a lack of allergy. Keep in mind that findings from skin tests can differ from one test to the next and that they occasionally yield false positives or negatives.