Allergies caused by internal and external factors exhibit a wide range of symptoms, from mild itching and sneezing to potentially life-threatening developments. Whatever the severity of your symptoms, Dr. Noga Askenazi and the team at Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates in Illinois understand that living with allergies can be miserable.
They have dedicated the practice to the diagnosis and treatment of allergy symptoms and place particular emphasis on identifying your allergy triggers using allergy skin testing. Once they know what is triggering an allergy, it is easy to treat symptoms.
What to Expect from a Standard Allergy Skin Test
The expert team at Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates/Food Allergy Center of Illinois uses a wide variety of diagnostic techniques to determine the cause of your allergy symptoms.
Skin testing is often the most comfortable, most accurate, and cost-effective option. It can quickly identify many common allergies, including:
- Medication, such as penicillin
- Contact dermatitis
- Allergy-triggered asthma
- Venomous insects, such as bees
- Dust, pollens, mold, and other airborne allergens (hay fever)
An allergy skin test is also known as a “scratch test.” It is a series of pricks, typically administered to your forearm or back. First, Dr. Askenazi will clean and mark the area for easy identification. After this, they will prick into the skin with a small amount of each potential allergen. This method can almost instantly detect over 40 common allergies. It is much more comfortable than a standard injection, as it only breaks the skin’s surface. It should not cause bleeding or scabbing.
The reaction isn’t severe, given the small amount of allergen used. If you do react, it will appear as a little bump. Dr. Askenazi and the team will clean the area and read your results.
They will develop a care plan that corresponds to your unique lifestyle. Dr. Askenazi will talk with you about your potential exposure to any allergens that cause a reaction and will put together a care plan that may combine avoidance, immunotherapy, or over-the-counter medications.
The expert team at Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates/Food Allergy Center of Illinois can help you live a comfortable, happy life, free of allergy symptoms. If you are interested in a test or consultation, call (847) 888-8802 to schedule your appointment at one of our locations today.
Skin testing done at Advanced Allergy and Asthma Associates explained by Dr. Noga Askenazi
My name is Dr. Noga Askenazi, and I work at Advanced Allergy and Asthma Associates, along with my colleagues, Dr. Hahn and Meredith Cirrincione, our physician assistant.
We are all certified in treating and managing all types of allergic diseases or symptoms that have immune mechanisms involved.
One of the things we use as a tool is what we call allergy testing. This is done to look for food allergies, environmental allergies, or chemical contact allergies.
How are skin tests done?
The test can be done differently depending on what we’re testing for. Skin tests are done with these toothpicks, which have drops of different allergens on them.
We just press them on the skin and look for a response. If it is a positive response, it can swell an area that looks like a small mosquito bite.
A negative response will have no reaction on the skin. That can elicit environmental allergens.
This means something in the person’s environment like a pet or pollen might be their allergy trigger when they go outside.
For what kinds of allergies can skin testing be used?
It can work for food allergy investigations as well. We can test for nut allergy, seafood allergy, milk allergy, etc.
The results are almost immediate. We can diagnose the results at 20 minutes of testing at the visit. Patients like to have the information as quickly as possible, and that’s a good tool to use.
We do skin testing for penicillin allergy, and we can do it to some anesthetics as well. Those are done in very different ways which still use the skin.
It takes a few hours to go through all the different concentrations to be certain so someone can have a particular medication.
Contact us today and schedule an appointment to get your allergies tested.