San Diego Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Consultants, Inc
Your On-Time, Organized, Up-to-date (and Friendly!) Allergist Next Door.
San Diego Environmental-Airborne Allergy Test Specialist
(Pollen Allergy, Dust Allergy, Cat & Dog Allergy, Mold Allergy Testing)
(Only your personal physician can provide you with medical advice. If Dr. Feigenbaum is not your physician, the following should not be construed as medical advice.)
We perform skin testing to: cat, dog, dust mite; tree, grass and weed pollens; fungi/mold and over 40 other aero-allergens. (Results in 15 minutes)
Allergy Skin Testing
Allergy skin testing is considered by most Board-Certified Allergists to be the best way to identify your allergens. It's performed by scratching/pricking the arm with a state-of-the-art plastic device called a Multitest. (There's no metal--it's all plastic--and patients are usually pleasantly surprised at the small degree of discomfort.)
In prick testing, a small amount of allergen is pricked into the skin. Any reaction within 15 minutes is caused by the interaction between the allergens, allergy antibodies (IgE) and your immune cells (mast cells.) Mast cells release histamine and other chemicals, causing itching, swelling, and redness at the site of the skin test if your allergic.
Interpretation involves measuring the wheal and flare response to each of the allergens which were tested.
Usually (but not always), the larger the wheal and flare response, the worse the allergy. The wheal is the raised area of skin. The flare is the red area of skin surrounding the wheal. Your testing sheet will indicate the size of the wheal and the size of the flare. For example, a result of 5/15 for peanut indicates that there was a 5 mm wheal and a 15 mm flare.
One of the testing prongs contains histamine, which is used as a positive control. Another prong contains saline, which is used as a negative control.