Inhalation and food skin tests

Inhalation and food skin tests

Allergy tests are designed to confirm the antigen(s) responsible for the patient’s allergic reactions. Based on medical history and examination, a physician chooses which tests should be performed and with what allergens in order to assess sensitisation in a given patient.

Routine allergy diagnostics primarily involves two types of tests: skin prick tests and epidermal patch tests, which differ in the type of immunological response that occurs during the tests, the procedures in administering the tests and the time of reading the results.

Inhalation and food skin prick tests
These tests are particularly helpful in diagnosing sensitisation to aeroallergens, or airborne allergens, such as pollens (from grass, trees and weeds), house dust mite, animal fur allergens or moulds. They are also applied in the identification of allergens responsible for allergic and perennial (year-round) rhino-conjunctivitis and asthma.

Moreover, skin prick tests can be performed using food allergens, which makes them particularly useful among little patients with suspected food allergies.

These tests are usually done on the forearm, on a section of skin without any pathological eruptions.

The results are read 20 minutes after the application of the tests, upon comparing them with control samples.

Skin prick tests are safe and reliable.

They should be done in a symptom-free period (determined individually for each patient). The patient should not be on anti-histamine (anti-allergic) medicines.. These medicines should be discontinued approx. 1—2 weeks before the tests.

In the case of children, because it is necessary to cooperate, skin prick tests (SPT) are recommended for children aged 4 or more.

The result of the tests is reliable provided that the patient complies with the following recommendations before the tests:

Before the test

  • the skin should not be exposed to the sun or a solarium for 2 weeks before the test
  • it is necessary to stop taking anti-allergic medicines 7–14 days before the tests
  • it is mandatory to inform the medical personnel about all the medicines you take (Ranigast, Calcium, vitamins, steroids and antidepressants may affect the test results)
  • it is not allowed to apply drugs in the form of ointments and creams, particularly with steroids, on the forearm skin for 7 days before the test

On the day of the test

  • do not eat any chocolate, tomatoes, blue cheese, cabbage, spinach, sausages, tuna, pickled cucumbers
  • do not apply any balm on the forearm skin
  • The tests must not be performed in the following circumstances:
  • Bacterial or viral infection within the last 3 weeks before the test
  • Antibiotic therapy within the last 3 weeks before the test
  • Anaphylactic episode or a severe bout of asthma within the last 6 weeks before the test
  • Skin diseases: acute hives, dermographism, atopic dermatitis and skin lesions: erythema, swelling, blisters, macular lesions, excessive exfoliation of the epidermis
  • Pregnancy
  • Aggravation of such symptoms as coughing, runny nose, shortness of breath, watery eyes on the day of the test

 

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