What You Should Know About Allergy Skin TestsIf you suspect you’ve had an allergic reaction to something but aren’t sure what caused it, Dr. Lenkowski may recommend an allergy skin test. Allergy skin tests are used to determine what substances, such as food, environmental substances, or medications caused your reaction. After understanding which allergens affect your lifestyle, Dr. Lenkowksi of Roanoke Valley ENT and Allergy will formulate a treatment plan with you that will help you to manage your reaction to your individual allergens.

Allergy skin tests are used to determine a patient’s sensitivity to many different substances, and can determine someone’s allergic reaction to:

  • Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
  • Allergic asthma
  • Dermatitis (eczema)
  • Food allergies
  • Penicillin allergy
  • Bee venom allergy
  • Latex allergy

Types of Allergy Skin Tests

Allergic skin tests can be administered several different ways. Each test requires the patient to be exposed to different allergens in a controlled environment with medical staff present. As a patient reacts to the different allergens, a team member is able to record the reaction and, at the conclusion of the test, the appropriate medication is administered to provide relief for the patient’s allergic reactions. Allergy skin testing is a safe and effective way of determining allergic conditions. The various types of allergy skin testing are:

Patch testing: Groups of allergens are placed on a large patch which is then applied to the skin.  The patch works for approximately 48 hours to allow contact reactions to slowly develop.  The patch is then removed, the results recorded and a treatment plan is designed.

Prick testing (or scratch testing): Groups of allergens are placed under the skin in tiny amounts by a medical team member. If allergic, a reaction begins almost immediately. Results are recorded.

Injection testing: Usually used for medication or bee venom testing, the allergen is injected into the patient in a controlled environment. After approximately 15 minutes, the reaction is recorded and a treatment plan is devised.

Allergy skin tests are a safe and effective way of determining a patient’s reaction to different substances.  If you or a family member are in need of allergy testing, contact Roanoke Valley ENT & Allergy for an allergy test appointment. Our state-of-the-art allergy center is designed to provide you with the answers and treatment you need to help you get back to doing what you love!