Allergies

What is Skin Prick Test

Skin prick test

is a diagnostic test done in allergies. It is done:

  • To know whether the person is allergic to certain allergens or not.
  • To measure specific IgE attached to mast cells in the skin.
  • To identify likely food allergens such as milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat etc.
  • To identify airborne allergens that are inhaled. For example: pollen, trees, shrub, molds, dust, feathers, pet danders and others.
  • To determine whether a patient is allergic to a medicine or insect venom

The Principle:

Basic principle of skin prick test is to introduce allergen in the skin and see the reaction of the skin.

Procedure and Interpretation:

In this test a drop of a solution (that contains a possible allergen) is put on the skin. It can be upper arm, forearm or back. Then a series of needle pricks and/or scratches are done to those areas of the skin. The response of skin is noted. If the skin develops a raised, itchy appearance on the skin, then it means the person is allergic to particular allergen (in the solution).

Other facts:

  • Skin prick test is conducted within a hospital under the supervision of an authenticated medical practitioner.
  • The allergens are selected in accordance with the patient’s history
  • It is usually done on the inner forearm, but if the patient has amputations or has bad eczema the test can be performed on the back
  • The test can be used to find starting from 3 to 4 allergens up to 25 allergens.
  • Just a drop of the allergen is placed by each code.
  • This test is also called a positive reaction test.
  • The test can be carried out in all age groups including babies. In babies response of the test in considerably smaller than in an adult.

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