Open Accessibility Menu

Do I need an allergy skin test?

  • Category: Wellness
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Tammy Nunez
Do I need an allergy skin test?

Many people endure symptoms like sneezing, itching, runny nose and sinus headaches but don’t know exactly what’s causing the reaction. Allergies are how your immune system responds to foreign proteins, better known as allergens.

An allergy skin test is one way to identify the culprit. The first step to find the underlying cause of your symptoms is to make an appointment with an allergist or immunologist. The provider can determine whether a skin test or another type of test is more appropriate to identify the allergen – or allergens – causing your symptoms.

If a skin test is suggested, here is what to expect: Your provider will scratch a small amount of common allergic substances in an organized grid on your skin. The testing is often conducted on the upper back and feels like little pricks as the substances are placed just under the skin.

Schedule an appointment today at (985) 230-APPT [2778] or (844) APPT-NOW [277-8669].

You will be monitored closely by the medical care team for the next 15 to 20 minutes for any sign(s) of an extreme allergic reaction. After time lapses, your medical provider will inspect the testing area for reactions to the substances.

Allergy testing is beneficial because it quickly and accurately screens for multiple allergens all at once. So, pinpointing what is causing your symptoms is important to preventing those reactions. Some allergies can trigger serious reactions that can become life-threatening. For example, you might have a mild reaction to pine nuts after consuming them for the first time but then have trouble breathing on a subsequent exposure.

In addition to identifying something that could cause a serious reaction, a skin test can help you avoid or prepare for inconvenient and lifestyle-altering symptoms. If you know you are allergic to weeds, for example, then you might want to take an antihistamine before hiking in the woods. Doing so could reduce or even eliminate an allergic reaction and allow you to enjoy nature instead of sneezing your way up and down the trail.

Typical substances evaluated during testing include mold spores, pollen particles, animal dander, insect venom and various food allergens, such as nuts and seafood.

North Oaks ENT & Allergy Clinic is accepting appointments for allergy screenings. To schedule an appointment, call (985) 230-2778 in Hammond or Livingston.