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Allergy Testing

Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates, P.C.

Board Certified Otolaryngologist & Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Specialists located in Sandy Springs, Atlanta, GA & Cumming, GA

When your symptoms point to allergies, in-office skin testing is the first step for most patients. At Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates, P.C., with two offices in Atlanta, Georgia, Thomas Chacko, MD, offers several types of allergy testing that identifies the substance that is causing your allergies and paves the way to the most effective treatment. If you have any questions about allergy tests, call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.

Allergy Testing Q & A

What is allergy testing?

Allergy testing refers to several procedures that determine the specific substances (allergens) responsible for your allergies. An allergy test can identify most allergens, including:

  • Pollen (tree, grasses, and weeds)
  • Mold spores
  • Dust mites
  • Pet dander
  • Cockroaches
  • Food allergies
  • Penicillin and other drugs
  • Insect venom
  • Contact allergens (poison ivy, metals, preservatives, skin care ingredients)

Allergy testing is safe for people of all ages, including infants. However, you may not be able to have a skin test if you have severe allergic reactions, take medications that may interfere with the test results, or have a skin condition like eczema.

What type of allergy testing might I receive?

Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates, P.C. has extensive experience performing several types of allergy tests, including:

Skin prick test

During a skin prick test, your provider makes a mark on your skin, places a drop of your suspected allergen on the spot, and makes a small scratch or prick in the skin under the allergen. The prick allows the allergen to get under your skin.

Your provider can make many marks and test multiple allergens at one time. Then, you wait in the office for 15 minutes under close observation. If any of the allergens cause a skin reaction (a raised, red bump), it means you’re allergic to that substance.

Intradermal skin test

Your provider may perform an intradermal skin test if you have a negative skin prick test but your medical history and symptoms suggest the substance is one of your allergens. They also frequently use an intradermal skin test for allergies to insect venom and penicillin.

During an intradermal skin test, your provider injects a small amount of allergen under your skin. Like a skin prick test, you wait in the office to see if you develop a skin reaction.

What type of allergy test is patch testing?

A patch test identifies contact allergens. These allergens trigger an allergic reaction in your immune system after they touch your skin. A few examples of contact allergens include poison ivy, poison oak, nickel, rubber (latex), fragrances, and chemicals in skin care products.

Your provider places multiple allergens directly against your skin using a self-adhesive patch containing the substances. You wear the patch for 48 hours before returning to the office.

Then, they check to see if you had a skin reaction to any of the allergens. They may ask you to wear the patch a few days longer to give your body time to react.

If you have questions about allergy testing, call the nearest Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates, P.C. office or book an appointment online today. Click here to learn more information