Skin test in Elgin confirms allergy to penicillin, a common source of misdiagnoses

Skin test in Elgin confirms allergy to penicillin, a common source of misdiagnoses

A true penicillin allergy can result in a host of scary complications ranging from hives, and facial and tongue swelling, to anaphylaxis. However, a large body of research exists to show that allergies to penicillin are overdiagnosed. The complications of misdiagnosing a penicillin allergy include:

  • Drugs that otherwise would be available for treatment are withheld
  • Less appropriate medications are prescribed in lieu of penicillin
  • Much more expensive antibiotics are prescribed as alternatives to penicillin

Just as a true penicillin allergy can negatively affect your health, a false allergy can have negative implications for your health too. Since your well-being is at stake, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis. Even if it was always thought you had a penicillin allergy, it is important to turn to the specialists at the Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates and Food Allergy Center of Illinois.

Skin tests may be scheduled, the results of which will either support the suspected penicillin allergy or indicate that you are not actually allergic to the drug. In fact, it’s estimated 9 of every 10 individuals with a suspected penicillin allergy actually have a negative skin test result. The vast majority of individuals are avoiding penicillins when they could safely take this more effective and affordable drug.

Skin testing involves exposing you to a small amount of penicillin. This extract may be administered via a tiny needle that slightly abrades the skin, or via an injection. A positive result indicates that it’s highly likely you are allergic to penicillin. A negative result typically means you’re not allergic to penicillin.

There are many different types of penicillins. As such, not all drugs can be detected as readily with skin tests. Additionally, just because one type of penicillin returns a positive result doesn’t mean you must avoid all other penicillins. Some types of penicillin are less likely to cause an allergic reaction, because of their known chemical properties. For this reason, a graded challenge may be suggested. You will be exposed to small but gradually increasing amounts of a targeted penicillin until you reach the therapeutic dose without experiencing a reaction.

To determine if you really have a penicillin allergy, schedule a skin test in Elgin. Call (847) 888-8802 to book an appointment with Dr. Noga Askenazi and the team.

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Meredith Cirrincione | Dr. Noga Askenazi

Haley Young is a board-certified physician assistant specializing in immunology and allergy with a comprehensive background in neurosurgery and dermatology. Holding a Masters of Physician Assistant Studies from Lincoln Memorial University and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Aurora University, she brings a holistic approach to patient care. Haley Young is committed to treating the whole person—mind, body, and spirit, adeptly managing complex conditions like allergic rhinitis, food allergies, and asthma. She is a member of prestigious professional organizations and is dedicated to building trust with her patients, ensuring compassionate and comprehensive care.

Amy Schack, a distinguished board-certified Physician Associate, brings a wealth of expertise to patient care. Specializing in allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, asthma, and rashes, Amy is renowned for her commitment to excellence and compassionate approach. With a background in immediate care and orthopedics, she holds a Master's in Physician Assistant studies from Midwestern University and a Bachelor of Science from Northern Illinois University. A member of esteemed professional associations, including the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Association of PAs in Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, Amy Schack instills confidence, ensuring you can trust her unwavering dedication to your health and well-being.

Meredith Cirrincione is a board certified Physician Assistant and specializes in treating allergies, with a focus on asthma, rashes, environmental allergies, chemical and food allergies. She holds a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from The Chicago Medical School - Rosalind Franklin University of Health Sciences. She is a Fellow member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants, and the Association of PAs in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. She likes to approach things holistically. She is a strong patient advocate and adored by her patients. She enjoys singing, reading, cooking, and the great outdoors.

Dr. Noga Askenazi is a nationally recognized asthma and allergy specialist who is board certified in pediatric and adult allergy. Her areas of special interest are innovative treatment of rashes, sinusitis, food allergies, asthma and immune disorders. She was past President of the ISAAI (Illinois Society of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology), works on state and national committees for advancement of the allergy field and is a consultant for Advocate, Ascension Health, Northwestern amongst other health care systems. Her joy is helping patients reach their goals after together determining best treatments. Her staff and patients are a chosen family, and she invests in their happiness. She enjoys gardening, biking and cooking to good music.