That sneeze you just stifled means you’re not alone. More than 50 million people in the United States have allergies, and you might be among them.
One of the best ways to find out if you truly do have allergies is to undergo skin testing. Dr. Sherwin Hariri and our expert team at Beverly Hills Allergy in Beverly Hills and Glendale, California, conduct these tests with patients frequently. Here’s why we say skin testing is important to truly understand your allergies.
What is skin testing?
Skin testing is a safe, effective, pain-free way to determine which allergy-causing substances may be responsible for your allergic reactions. Testing is usually done to determine your allergies to food, outdoor and indoor allergens, insects, medications, and more.
Testing works by exposing your skin to various allergens. Dr. Hariri pricks your skin with potential allergens (up to 64 environmental allergens and up to 100 foods), and then watches for an allergic skin reaction such as raised red bumps.
These bumps are a good indicator that your body is using antibodies to fight off the substance. If you don’t experience a reaction to a substance within about 15 minutes, you’re probably not allergic to it.
Skin testing is low-risk but occasionally can produce a severe allergic reaction, so it should always be performed in your doctor’s office where treatment is available.
How can skin testing help you understand your allergies?
Depending on what your body reacts to, your skin test can help diagnose various conditions, including hay fever, allergic asthma, eczema, food allergies, penicillin allergy, and even bee venom allergy. Knowing which substances your body reacts negatively to also gives you insight into what you need to avoid.
If you have a food allergy, for instance, you need to make sure you can avoid that food when you’re eating out. Or, if you’re allergic to pollen, you should limit your outdoor exposure during periods of high pollen count.
You’ll also learn which medications work to treat your allergies, including antihistamines, steroids, or even immunotherapy, which exposes you to small amounts of the allergen over time so your immune system can learn how to handle it.
You won’t have a complete picture of your allergic situation without skin testing, so if you suspect you have allergies, our team at Beverly Hills Allergy can conduct skin testing to determine your best course of action.
Call our location most convenient to you to request a consultation with Dr. Hariri or use the online scheduler to book your appointment.
And bless you! (for that sneeze earlier …)