Skin prick test

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Definition

noun

An allergy skin test that is done by pricking the skin with a sterile needle or pin containing a small amount of the allergen and monitored for any subsequent small, controlled, local allergic skin reaction


Supplement

The skin prick test is one of the allergy skin tests commonly used for evaluating hypersensitivity. It is done by placing small amount of the allergen on the skin and then pricking the skin in order to allow the allergen to reach under the skin surface. The typical site for testing is the forearm, upper arm, or the back of the patient. The tested skin is then monitored for any allergic reactions, such as erythema and swelling. When such reactions occur, it means that the allergen is capable of causing an allergic reaction; the result implies that the patient is allergic to that particular allergen.

The skin prick test is preferred over other allergy tests because of its safety and convenience. Usually, the result is obtained within twenty minutes. This means that the physician will be able to identify specific substances capable of bringing out allergic reaction to the patient through this test. The test is also safe in a way that it involves small and controlled allergic response.


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