Long thought to be the best way to test for an allergy, the skin allergy test is still the leading option amongst those who are looking for a controlled allergy test to diagnose their potential allergy. However, even though there are many tests done every year, there are a lot of people who don’t know about the hidden danger and risk of this kind of test. Before you decide on this testing method, take a look at the potential for risk below.
Risks of a skin allergy test
- You’ll have to wean off medications: A skin allergy test isn’t always effective due to medications that are being taken at the time of testing. You’ll often have to wean off of a surprising amount of medications, some of which may be more challenging (or impossible) than others. For example, antihistamines, psychiatric medications, some cold medications, topical products, beta-blockers and more.
- It may not be effective for food allergies: When it comes to the idea of testing specifically for food allergies, a skin prick test often isn’t the most accurate testing method. This is because an allergy to dust or pollen or animal dander is going to interact differently with the body than a food allergy will, so the test that is effective for one may not be effective for another.
- It can give false negatives and positives: A skin allergy test can offer up both false negatives and positives. When it comes to something as serious as a food allergy (especially if it is causing serious reactions), it normally has to be followed up with a blood test or an oral test to confirm. While good to have confirmed, this means that you have to go through a second test.
- Rarely, the test can create a serious reaction: In rare cases, this kind of test can create a serious reaction as well. The testing process can spark an anaphylactic reaction which will require epinephrine in order to counteract it. For those who are particularly worried about this kind of reaction, or who are prone to serious reactions, this is something to seriously consider when doing your research and choosing the right test for you.
You deserve to have a testing method that is going to make you feel like you are getting there right, accurate results at the end of it. For some, it may still be the skin prick test that feels the most comfortable. For others, perhaps an oral test or a blood sample test might be a better idea to consider. Everyone’s needs and preferences will lead them to a decision that works for them and their testing needs.
Whether you knew about the hidden danger of a skin allergy test or not, proper knowledge and confirmation of important details like these are what will keep you and your long-term health safe and sound, regardless of what decision you happen to make. Put yourself in charge of your health and use proper education and understanding this testing method to help you do just that.