With degrading natural environment quality, our immunity against diseases and ailments is shrinking considerably. Therefore, besides pollen and dust mites, even unfamiliar food types can introduce mild to severe allergic reaction ranging from something as common as a rash to as dangerous as a seizure. So, medical experts suggest that it is better not to wait around for an allergic reaction to treat it. Preventing such problems from happening can usher a healthier lifestyle. How? Scratch or prick testing can sort things out for you. Let us discuss about this testing process and learn if it can really help us fight off allergy problems.
What is Scratch or Prick Testing?
As the name suggests, this process involves pricking your skin to test its reaction to different allergens. Yes, there are obviously other solutions like Atopy Patch Tests, blood tests to identify which chemicals or elements that can cause you discomfort and how severe could the impact be. However, scratch/prick testing is the oldest form of allergy test available. It is highly sensitive too, according to medical experts. Plus, it takes less than 20 minutes to confirm which food items you should avoid in a buffet or what kind of environment could be dangerous for you.
What is the Process?
The inner portion of a forearm is the most commonly selected for this test. First, medical experts clean the area with alcohol. Then they assign different spaces on the arm to test different allergens. Now they prick or scratch the surface of the skin with a lancet, breaking the skin without drawing blood. After that, different allergens are introduced through the broken skin. Generally, glycerinated extracts are used as different allergens. The process is controlled, therefore, even if you have a reaction to dogs, cats, pollen, or food extracts, it affects only a small portion of your skin and not the whole body. After the 20-minute margin the results are identified and your forearm is again cleaned with alcohol, wiping off any trace of the allergen.
As they say, prevention is better than cure. Visit one of our wellness centers to get the allergy ‘skin scratch’ testing done.