Skin prick testing (SPT) is a primary mode of testing to diagnose IgE-mediated allergic disease in patients with rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma, anaphylaxis, and suspected food and drug allergy. It provides evidence for sensitisation and can help to confirm the diagnosis of a suspected type 1 allergy.

Skin Prick Testing is widely practiced, carries a very low risk of side-effects and provides high-quality information when performed optimally and interpreted correctly*.

Small amounts of allergen extracts are introduced into the epidermis and interact with specific IgE bound to cutaneous mast cells. Histamine and other mediators are released, leading to a visible “wheal-and-flare” reaction (except to the negative control) after about 15 minutes.

Skin prick testing should be used to confirm the diagnosis of allergy when taken in conjunction with the patients’ history and clinical examination. It differentiates allergic diseases from other mimicking conditions. It may lead to allergen avoidance strategies, improved use of medications, and for some patients, Immunotherapy.

* Heinzerling et al. The Skin Prick Test – European Standards, Clinical and Translational Allergy 2013, 3:3

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Allergy Therapeutics manufactures subcutaneous and sublingual immunotherapy treatments for a wide range of allergic conditions including those caused by pollens, House Dust Mites, Pets and Moulds.

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