Everything You Need to Know About Allergy Testing

More than 50 million people across the nation suffer from allergies. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to find relief. This difficulty is part of the reason why allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in America.

Jill Taylor, DO, and our caring team at Taylor Family Practice in Humble, Texas, are dedicated to helping allergy sufferers find relief. That’s why our office offers diagnostic allergy testing.

What is allergy testing?

At Taylor Family Medicine, we test for allergies using skin testing. The practitioners at Taylor Family Practice customize which allergens to test based on your symptoms and medical history. The team then uses a scratch test, also called a prick or puncture test, on your skin. 

Scratch tests place allergens directly under your skin. Each scratch tests your reaction to a specific allergen. We’ll mark the name of each allergen extract on your skin. This helps the Taylor Family Practice team find the cause of your allergy symptoms so she can determine how best to treat you.  

A Taylor Family Practice practitioner checks your skin for reactions to different allergens. The development of wheals, or raised, itchy bumps, at the site of a scratch means you’re allergic to that allergen. The entire test typically takes less than 30 minutes. 

After the test, we’ll clean your arm and wipe away any marks or allergen extracts. If you reacted, topical antihistamine or cortisone cream can help with the itching. A practitioner will then discuss treatment and customize a plan that works best for you.

How do I prepare for allergy testing?

Preparing for your allergy test is simple. Since some medications can interfere with the results, we will ask about your medications during your initial appointment. She’ll recommend you stop taking anything that might impact the test for a brief period before your appointment. 

Does allergy testing have any risks?

Every medical test has risks, but with skin tests the risks are minimal. The biggest risk is that you might experience allergy symptoms, like swelling, redness, and itching, at the test site. More serious reactions rarely occur but are possible, so be sure to get skin tests from trained medical professionals, like our team at Taylor Family Practice. 

What if I don’t have a reaction?

If you haven’t reacted after 15-20 minutes, you probably aren’t allergic to any of the allergens in the test. Based on your symptoms and history, we may order additional testing.

Where can I get help with my allergies?

If you’re suffering from allergy symptoms, we can help. She'll listen to your concerns and take time to get to the root of your health issues. To learn more about allergy testing or get help with treatment, contact Taylor Family Practice today.

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