Allergy Testing NYC
What is allergy testing?
Allergy testing is used by Ageonics Medical to determine what substances are causing a patient’s allergic reactions. There are several different types of allergy testings’ suited for a variation of different allergies. The most notable test is given by applying a small harmless extract of a potential allergen on your skin. The skin is then scratched or lightly pricked to expose the allergen and view the skin’s reaction. Other outlets can be by injecting the allergen under your skin or by holding to the skin for a pre-determined amount of time with a patch.
How are allergies diagnosed?
Allergic symptoms can only be properly diagnosed after you have undergone a specific test. The doctor will start by asking you questions about your symptoms, history of allergy, exposure, family history, to get a good picture of your situation and to see what they can do to help you.
What happens during the allergy skin test?
There are three main types of skin tests plus a few additional that can be necessary in unique situations. The three main types are scratch, intradermal and patch test.
This is by far the most common allergy test. Our doctors or qualified nursing staff will clean the skin with alcohol that will be tested on. Different areas of the skin will be labeled based on the choice of allergens that are being tested for. A drop of extract for each potential allergen — such as pollen, animal dander, or insect venom — is placed on the corresponding label. The exterior layer of the skin, called the epidermis, will be lightly pricked so the allergen can enter and exposed on average for about 20 minutes. The skin prick is not a shot and doesn’t cause bleeding. The doctor will then monitor for the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Some minor itching is normal even when an allergy is not diagnosed.
Instructions for receiving a skin test
1. Schedule an appointment with Ageonics Medical, the allergy testing nyc specialist, online or call of dedicated
2. A minimum of 3 days prior to your test stop taking the below medications:
- Decongestant / antihistamine combination medications
- Astelin, a prescription nose spray antihistamine
- Any over the counter allergy medicines, cold & cough remedies
- Any over the counter sleep aids, they usually contain a sedating antihistamine
- Vitamin C
(Speak with us or your pharmacist if your are concerned about any of the medications you are taking.)
3. DO NOT stop taking the following medications:
- All asthma medications
- Prescription nose sprays, with the exception of Astelin, which is an antihistamine
- Decongestants that are not combined with an antihistamine
4. Where proper clothing to be tested on: Testing will be done on the forearm and upper arm, please allow or easy exposure of the skin in these areas.
Intradermal testing is similar to skin prick testing, the major difference being that the allergen is injected under the skin to form a small bubble. If you have even seen or taken the test for tuberculosis the intradermal test is very similar. In many instances the skin sensitivity can be heightened during an intradermal test. This test is useful in identifying insect sting allergies which can cause breathing issues in an estimated 13 million Americans.
Patch Skin Testing
Another method is to apply an allergen to a patch, which is then placed on the skin. If you have been experiencing skin reactions this may be used to identify the origin. These skin irritations can develop from a new skin crème or wearing a new type of jewelry. This test is done in hopes of identifying the allergic contact dermatitis that is causing the reaction. If there are allergic antibodies in your system, your skin will become irritated and may itch much like a mosquito bite. This itchiness and redness usually indicate an allergic reaction.
The test consists of wearing a patch, usually placed on your back, that has an allergen placed on your skin. After about two days, the patch will be removed to see if you have any allergic reactions. A secondary follow up is usually necessary to ensure no delayed reactions come about.
Sometimes the patch Testing requires 3 office visits in one week. The application of the test allergens will occur on your first visit. Usually around the 48 hour mark the patches are removed with a follow visit the next day for the doctor to do the final reading. It may be necessary to have an additional read at day 7. If the doctor determines that you allergic to any chemical we will speak with you about the necessary steps required to go forward.
Patch test instructions
1. The test will be applied to the upper back area
2. Please notify us if you are pregnant
3. To prevent excessive sweating please refrain from exercising, performing hard work, taking a shower or hot bath. You may take a tepid bath. Do not get the patch test area wet.
4. Do not take any cortisone medicine during the test. Call if you have any questions about your medications. You must be off oral cortisone (prednisone) for at least 2 weeks prior to this test.
5. Avoid exposure of the back to the sun.
6. Do not remove the patch.
7. Do not rub or scratch the application zone. Itching is an indication of a positive response and scratching might alter the test result.
Food patch testing
Food allergy affects between 5% and 7.5% of children and between 1% and 2% of adults. Diagnosing food allergy can be particularly challenging and needs and experienced allergist specialist. Food allergic normally have a disease which can be diagnosed with skin prick testing, but there is a small amount of people that will be missed if certain mechanisms are not investigated. Recent studies have examined the use of food patch tests for patients with dermatitis (eczema), and other atypical food reactions. Food patch testing is a useful test in evaluating patients and can help identify reactions that are typical.
Blood testing may be recommended by an Ageonics allergy specialist to measure the antibodies present in your blood. One common blood test in the field of allergy measures Immunoglobulin E. This is an antibody that your immune system develops in reaction to a specific allergen. There are several other relevant test that our allergy specialist will go over if they deem them necessary.
Elimination testing is when the Ageonics allergy specialist asks you to avoid a suspected allergen to see if your symptoms improve. Often this means the removal of certain food from your diet or a particular body product.
This type of test is essentially the opposite outlet as elimination testing. In this scenarios the allergist would expose you to a suspected allergen while you are in a safe, clinical setting – just in case you have a severe reaction. This test is sometimes used to confirm (or disprove) a food or medication allergy (penicillin or peanuts, for example).
How much time is involved in a skin test?
On your initial appointment with an allergist plan to spend about an hour in the office. For the scratch skin tests, the allergen placement part of the test takes about 5 to 10 minutes. The skins reactions time can be immediate or up to 15 minutes.
The patch test will take longer, as you must wear the patch for about 48 hours to determine if there is a delayed reaction. During those 48 hours swimming should be completely avoided and bathing should be kept to a minimal avoiding the exposed area.
What preparation is needed for a skin test?
It is extremely important to let your allergist know about all medicines you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs.
All allergy medicines stop allergic reactions so they must be discontinued at least 3 days prior to a scheduled test.
Are allergy skin tests painful?
An allergy skin test by design may cause some itching and redness. Most people do not say the tests are painful.
Are allergy skin tests safe?
Even though allergens are being introduced to your body the amount in tiny, but a specialist is always required to monitor any complications. An entire body reacting to small skin testing samples is extremely rare.
What should you expect after an allergy skin test?
After the allergy skin test any markings or designations will be cleaned off. If the reaction begins to increase a cream may be applied to relieve any itching or burning.
If you are having a patch test done, you will go home with bandages on your arm or back that you will wear for about 48 hours.
Your doctor or allergist will use the results of the test to help develop a management plan for you.
Should I ever be concerned enough to call my doctor?
If you go home after a skin test and start to feel any of the symptoms below you should immediately contact your doctor.
- Shortness of breath
- Extensive rash
- Swelling of the face, lips or mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
Allergy Skin Testing NYC Summary
Contact Ageonics Medical with any questions or concerns about your allergy needs. Our staff and specialists will walk your through the testing process and help build a personalized treatment plan if an allergy is diagnosed. Ageonics has three convenient locations throughout manhattan. Our patients are from all over the Tri-State area and range from all ages. Contact Ageonics medical allergy specialist today to schedule an appointment.