Barrington IL specialty practice employs skin testing and a multi-layered approach to accurate diagnoses
Do you suspect you have allergies? Drs. Askenazi, Hahn, and Patel take a comprehensive approach to diagnosing the cause of your irritating, uncomfortable, disruptive, or concerning symptoms.
After performing a detailed assessment of your signs, symptoms, health, and lifestyle, Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates and Food Allergy Center of Illinois can perform a skin test.
This test involves gently penetrating the skin with a needle at the surface. The test is so noninvasive that you won’t even bleed. You should feel little more than a very mild, fleeting sensation of discomfort.
Also known as the puncture or scratch test, our specialists will then expose you to a tiny droplet of extract from a suspected allergen. A new needle will be used to test different allergens with different extracts.
Your skin is also exposed to other substances to assure it is reacting normally. For example, if you don’t have a reaction to histamine, the test won’t reveal an allergy that exists because in most people this substance causes a skin response. Likewise, if you react to glycerin or saline that could mean you have very sensitive skin and may result in false positives for allergies.
As you can see, accurate diagnosis is vital, as it is common for people to be told they have allergies or to think they have allergies when, in fact, they are not allergic. In the case of penicillin allergies, for example, those who have been improperly diagnosed may be treated with less effective and far more costly types of drugs.
Drs. Askenazi, Hahn, and Patel will check your skin about 15 minutes after it is exposed to the allergen extracts and these other “control” substances. Some of the things they’re looking for are raised bumps or itchy redness. These wheals as they are known typically look like a mosquito bite. The size of these spots is important because the bigger the wheal, the greater chance of sensitivity and true allergies as the source of your symptoms.
Still other skin tests may be performed by injecting a small amount of the extract into the arm, or by affixing a patch containing allergen extracts to the arm or back. Our specialists will then check to see how your skin reacts, just as they might with the puncture or scratch test.
Some medications can interfere with accurate results, so Allergy & Asthma Associates and Food Allergy Center of Illinois may suggest you discontinue that medication in the days leading up to the examination. These tests also have their limitations, and can result in false positives or false negatives. For this reason, our specialists take a very thorough approach to examination and can follow up with blood testing as an additional layer of assurance that the correct allergen has been identified. Accordingly, a working treatment plan can be developed, such as one involving immunotherapy or measured amounts of the offending allergen.
For more information about skin testing in Barrington IL, call 847-888-8802 to speak with our staff and schedule an appointment.