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Prick test: what it is

Prick test: what it is

Prick test, fundamental and sometimes redeeming for those suffering from food and respiratory allergies. Often it may seem like a joke to those who don't have this problem, but whoever found themselves a ask yourself the cause of your allergy, maybe even sudden, as an adult, he knows this test is useful and very convenient.

Prick test: what it is

The name is partly onomatopoeic, because this test provides a series of "punctures". It is the simplest and most widespread, also because it can be done even for children aged one year and over and has no particular contraindications. It helps to understand which allergens that lurk in food and in the air are at the origin of our problems.

Allergies can be both food, both related to elements that we inhale, with this skin prick test, fast and painless, we are able to obtain a 90% reliable result. To understand if it is positive, you have to pay attention to appearance of wheals and redness that expose the guilty allergen.

Prick test: cost

The prick test can cost you from 50 to 100 euros, but making such a general estimate is not easy, plus prices vary quickly. The price depends on many factors, including the choice of the specialist and the health facility.

It is a rather agile test, it is performed on an outpatient basis, in a few minutes, and it doesn't hurt, people suffering from rhinitis, asthma, conjunctivitis, atopic dermatitis often do. It is important at this point do not take antihistamines by mouth (or by injection) for at least one week before the prick test.

Prick test: how to do it

Disinfected the skin where are we going to do the prick test, let's place a drop of an allergenic extract, usually in the area of ​​the forearms, 5 cm above the wrist and 3 cm below the antecubital fossa. Then the allergist pinches the underlying skin the allergenic drop with a sterile lancet so that the allergenic molecules can penetrate the superficial layers of the skin.

Once the skin is dried, wait about 20 minutes for the reactions to stimulate the drops. In order not to confuse them it is good that between one test and another there are 2.5 cm free. Positive reactions are not painful, usually they are rounded wheals and localized itching and redness.

Prick test on children

From the age of one, babies can take the prick test without problems although some specialists believe that before the age of three the result can be difficult to interpret.

Furthermore, as we age, the intensity of the skin response to both allergens and histamine increases, up to the age of 18, then it remains stable until it decreases after 70. One of the most frequent uses of the prick test is linked to seasonal pollen allergies and it is not necessary to wait for the warm season to take the test.

Prick test: foods

A particular use in the food sector is this. When there are no allergens in sufficiently reliable extracts, this type of test is used as follows: for testing vegetables and fruits (raw) pinch the food and then the skin seeing what happens.

Prick test: inhalants

The prick test is very convenient to recognize inhalant allergens. We find it used for pollen allergies, Grasses, parietaria, molds and many other less known allergens but to be flushed out!

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