The Allergy Testing Process

The Allergy Testing Process

Allergy testing essentially entails having a blood or skin exam to determine which specific allergen or substance triggers an allergic reaction in an individual. Here at Everyone's ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX, she will decide which allergy testing methods are best suited to your specific circumstances. Meanwhile, here’s what you can generally expect during testing:

Skin Allergy Tests

The most common test, the skin prick test, typically takes under an hour at our San Antonio office and involves the following steps:

  1. Disinfecting the testing site, typically on the arm or back, using alcohol.
  2. Placing drops of various allergens on the skin, approximately an inch or two apart to allow for testing of multiple substances all at once.
  3. Pricking the skin underneath each drop using a sterilized needle.
  4. Examining the pricks after 15 minutes to check whether wheals, itchy, raised, and red patches, have formed. If so, this indicates that you’re possibly allergic to the specific allergen on that pricked portion.

In the event that you didn’t receive a positive reaction to the skin prick test but your doctor still suspects that you may be allergic to an allergen you’ve already been tested for, we may suggest intradermal allergy skin testing during your follow-up appointment.

Depending on certain factors, your doctor may also perform a skin patch test instead of a skin prick test. This allergy skin test usually involves placing patches that contain allergen doses on your back. You’ll need to wear these patches for a day or two, careful not to get them wet to ensure that they stay on until your follow-up appointment where your doctor will check for positive allergic reactions.

Blood Allergy Testing

Allergy testing with the use of blood usually involves these steps:

  1. Wrapping an elastic around the upper arm for stopping blood flow and cleaning the injection area with alcohol.
  2. Placing a needle into your vein and connecting a tube to it for blood collection.
  3. Applying a cotton or gauze pad over the injection site after removing the needle, applying pressure to it, and then topping it off with a clean bandage.

Your blood sample will then be placed on a special paper and sent out for inspection to figure out whether there are any antibodies to an allergen that you’re being tested for. If there are certain antibodies, it might indicate that you’re allergic to a particular allergen.

If You Have Any Questions on Allergy Testing, Don’t Hesitate to Call Us

Dial (210) 647-3838 to set an appointment with Dr. Christine Gilliam here at Everyone's ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX.