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Skin allergy tests

Proves cutànies d'al•lèrgia Vall d´Hebron

Skin tests are the technique most commonly used to begin diagnosing an allergy. Following a meticulous clinical history, it is decided which skin tests may be useful, depending on the case.  

Skin allergy tests serve to find out if a patient is "sensitised" to a particular substance, if their body recognises the substance and reacts when it comes into contact with it. These tests DO NOT DIAGNOSE an allergy. They are only positive if accompanied by one of the symptoms compatible with an allergy, helping a diagnosis to be reached.

Hospital o serveis complementaris relacionats

General Hospital

Where to find it

Description

There are two main types:

  • Skin prick tests: a drop of a substance is placed on the skin and the skin under the drop is gently pricked with a small needle.
  • Intradermal tests: a small amount of the diluted substance is injected into the top layer of skin. If the patient is “sensitised”, a small local reaction appears with itching, redness, swelling, etc. This reaction is compared with physiological serum (negative control that does not need to cause a reaction) and histamine (positive control that has to react)

Risks

The risk of these tests is very low. Only in extremely allergic patients and usually with drug testing, there is a certain risk of serious and widespread allergic reaction.

 

Options

In some cases, blood tests can be conducted to assess blood sensitisation.

 

Related professionals at Vall d'Hebron 

Victòria Cardona Dahl, Mar Guilarte Clavero, Olga Luengo Sánchez, Moisés Labrador Horrillo, Anna Sala Cunill, Cristina Blasco Velero, Teresa Garriga Baraut, Blanca Vila Indurain, Emilia Cid Rodríguez

 
Related professionals
Dra. Victòria
Cardona Dahl
Sra. Diana
Alcaraz Lencina
Administration
Allergology