Allergy skin testing, is one of the best ways to evaluate a patient's allergies. Generally this type of testing is most useful once the diagnosis of allergy has been made clinically and the patient has decided to use immunotherapy for treatment. This type of allergy skin testing is used to determine the proper, safe dose of antigen to start desensitization for the patient. Treatment consists of either allergy shots or sublingual (under the tongue) drops to reduce the patients reactivity to antigen (the pollen, mold or dander that is causing their symptoms.
What is intradermal testing? In this type of allergy skin testing, your back, forearm, or upper arm is used as the testing ground for different allergens that are injected into the top layer of your skin. Your skin is then monitored for a histamine reaction, which is seen as redness, swelling, or irritation around the injection area. This gives your physician the needed information to determine your treatment plan for your particular allergy or allergies.
Whether your allergy is to mold, pollen, mildew, or cat dander, allergy skin testing is the first step to desensitizing you to treat the symptoms of allergic rhinitis and other allergy symptoms.
There are a few things that you need to consider when choosing to undergo intradermal testing. You will have to go off of your allergy treatments before you are tested because allergy medications can change the results of the test. Another thing that you need to consider is that you may have allergic responses to allergens that you may not have symptoms to in your life, because the test is very sensitive.