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Needle Free Allergy Testing


Too often allergy care is delayed or totally avoided because of fear that allergy testing involves “hundreds of needles or shots placed on the back”. 

Modern allergy methods have come a long way in the past two decades.  Now plastic devices can pierce the outer layer of the skin (where most of the allergy cells live) in order to test for allergic sensitivities.  The testing is called prick or scratch testing and when performed properly, does not result in bleeding or skin damage.  Reactions resemble small mosquito bites and may itch until medications can be applied.  Total time necessary for testing is less than 30 minutes with a little more time needed to discuss the results and develop a plan of therapy. 

Nurses may apply the scratch tests but your doctor should read the results.  Beware of spas and clinics that offer allergy care in addition to all other services.  Physicians trained in allergy testing and treatment spend 5 years following medical school training in pediatric and adult disease with the last 2 or 3 of those years being specialization in allergy and immunology.  If you wish to seriously evaluate and treat your allergy problems, work with your primary care physician to seek consultation with a qualified allergist not someone who spent a weekend learning the “highlights of allergy” while enjoying a vacation as well.  Look for the diploma on the wall from an accredited allergy/immunology program.  If unsure of your physician’s credentials, check with the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners at www.tsbme.org. Also don’t be confused by physicians sanctioned by the Pan-American Allergy Society, most are not eligible for board certification by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.



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that season.