Before your allergies can be properly treated — and especially if you’re considering allergy shots — you must undergo skin testing to determine which substances cause your allergies. Laura Ispas, MD, at Allergy Asthma & Immunology Institute, is one of Leesburg, Virginia’s top experts in skin testing to identify allergens. If you’d like to schedule skin testing, or you have questions about allergies, call the office or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Ispas performs skin testing in the office to identify the substances responsible for your allergies. She begins by carefully evaluating your medical history and determining the most likely allergens triggering your allergic reaction.
Once the suspected allergy-causing substances are determined, Dr. Ispas places a small amount of each allergen on your skin. If you’re allergic, a minor skin reaction occurs in response to the substance.
Allergy skin testing can be used to diagnose many types of allergies, such as:
When performed by a highly experienced allergy specialist like Dr. Ispas, skin tests are safe for most children and adults. However, you may not be a good candidate for a skin test if you take certain medications or you have a skin condition that affects the testing site.
Dr. Ispas performs two types of skin tests:
In this test, a small prick on the surface of your skin is used to introduce a tiny amount of the suspected allergens into your body. If you’re allergic to any of the substances, you’ll develop a reaction similar to a mosquito bite at the spot where the allergen was placed. You’ll stay in the office while waiting for results because allergic reactions occur within 20 minutes.
A skin patch test is preferred when testing for allergic contact dermatitis. This condition occurs when you develop an allergic reaction to substances that have direct contact with your skin.
During a patch test, your suspected allergens are placed in separate spaces on a patch that’s large enough to hold 20 or 30 allergens. If you’re allergic to any of the substances on the patch, a small skin reaction develops where the allergen touches your skin.
Dr. Ispas applies the patch to the skin on your back, and then you wear the patch for several days. After about 48 hours, you’ll return to the office so she can remove the patch and evaluate any skin reactions. Dr. Ispas may replace the patch and have you wear it a few more days because it may take longer for a reaction to appear.
Skin testing is a safe and effective way to identify your allergens, which must be done in order to develop a customized treatment plan. To learn more about skin testing, call Allergy Asthma & Immunology Institute or book an appointment online.