What is an Allergy Test?

Allergy tests are widely available and can be performed by your primary care physician, an allergist or a local testing lab. Tests are typically a skin test that measures your body's reaction when contacted by specific allergens. A test often measures several allergens at the same time.

The tests are often called prick tests or puncture tests, and although they do involve pricking the skin, they are generally thought of as minimally invasive and not terribly painful. These tests will use a small amount of diluted allergen to test your skins reaction to contact with it. A prick test may be followed up with an intradermal test which involves using a needle to inject an allergen just below the surface of the skin.

For both tests, the skin will be observed several minutes after contact with the allergen to assess if a reaction has taken place, and how sensitive your skin is to the allergen. This will determine exactly which allergen is responsible for you allergies.

Tests are available for a large variety of plan species. Click here for a full list.

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