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  A website by:
  Malaysian Society of Allergy & Immunology (MSAI)
  Diagnosing Allergy:  

  Skin Tests

Skin tests involve introducing small quantities of very pure allergen of known concentrations into the skin (usually on your inside forearm or on your back) and observing the reaction.

3 methods:

  • Scratch test:

    the doctor makes a tiny cut or superficial incision into the skin, then deposits a tiny drop of allergen inside.
  • Intradermal test:

    the allergen is injected under the skin by a syringe with a very fine needle.
  • Prick test:

    this very common test entails placing a drop of allergen on the skin, pricking the skin with a needle point through the drop so that the allergen can get inside.

    Only very dilute preparations of allergens are used to so that the reaction will be mild.

    In all three cases, the doctor can measure and interpret the reaction after about 20 minutes. If the reaction is positive, you see a wheal (tiny swelling), erythema (redness), and you may experience pruritus (itching).

    Patch tests may be carried out in the case of suspected eczema.

    Contrary to common belief, there is no age limit for skin tests.  

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