An allergy is an auto immune response to a particular substance that is either ingested or comes into contact with a person’s skin. The body’s immune system judges the substance to be harmful and begins to attack the exposed area. In the case of food allergies, the attack can happen in the mouth or throat which could cause suffocation in cases of severe reaction. In the case of allergies that may affect the skin, these will usually be presented in the form of a rash or a sensation of itching on the exposed area of skin.
If you have had an allergic reaction you may not be aware of what has caused your reaction. In such a situation your doctor can conduct an allergy test on you. You may also want to know what substances you are allergic to before you have had any reaction or before an allergy appears. In both cases the obvious test to go for is an allergy skin prick test.
A skin prick allergy test involves a tiny prick being made by a sterile needle on the surface of your skin. This needle will contain an amount of the allergen that the doctor wishes to test for. This substance is strong enough to create a reaction on the skin in the area it is injected into. However, it is not strong enough, unless improperly injected, to cause a full scale allergic reaction in you. For this reason, the test may be conducted in a general checkup room and you may be sent home. Some tests take a few days to show a reaction while others may react within a few minutes. When a test reacts quickly, your doctor will make you wait until a reaction is found or has not occurred. It may be inferred from a failed test that you do not have a particular allergy. However, this may also be because of a problem with the allergen or the test procedure so it is always good to test for the same sometime later. This would help you to be vigilant in life to make sure that you do not come into contact with any known allergens.
Specifically, skin prick tests are used for allergies that may occur due to your skin being exposed to something that may be found around you. These allergies include dust, pollen or pet allergies. Such a test may also be used to check for food allergies