Understanding Skin Prick Testing

Posted on: 23 December 2019


Skin prick tests are carried out to find out the foods, substances or compounds you might be allergic to. This is important to everyone, especially those with sensitive skin and individuals with conditions that render their immune system weak.

Don't take allergies lightly; severe allergic reactions can cause death. For example, if your tongue or throat swells up because of an allergic reaction to a particular food, it can block airflow leading to suffocation.

Some allergies cause skin breakouts, especially on your face. If you are usually conscious about your looks, this can be hard on you because you have to face people with a face riddled with pimples. You might result in staying indoors to avoid people stare. If you haven't already, make an appointment with your dermatologist to have skin prick testing done.

Exercise Caution.

Ensure you visit a qualified dermatologist. You don't know what you are allergic to and what reaction it can give you. You want the skin prick test to be performed by a specialist who knows what he or she is doing and can control your allergic reaction safely and effectively if you have any.

What to Expect

The first thing you will do is have a conversation with the dermatologist where you get to share your medical history. You can inform him or her if you suspect you have a particular allergy and why you think so. This also helps the dermatologist determine whether you are a viable candidate for a skin prick test. If the dermatologist identifies that a skin prick test might cause a severe reaction alternative allergy tests are performed, such as testing your blood.

If you are a viable candidate for a skin prick test, the dermatologist identifies an area on your forearm and wipes it clean with medical alcohol. He or she makes marks on your arm with a pen to identify which allergen is to be placed beside each mark. After a drop of the allergen is placed, your skin is scratched lightly to let the allergen in. It might be slightly uncomfortable, but it is not painful. The allergen is given time to react and if you feel itchy or your skin reacts by turning red, getting a rash or becoming swollen near a particular marking, then you are allergic to that particular allergen.

How Long Does It Take for A Skin Reaction to Subside?

Since the skin prick test is performed by a qualified dermatologist, he or she ensures the skin reaction is mild enough to clear within two or three days.

If you are interested in skin prick testing, talk to a dermatologist near you like Darwin Dermatology.