Originally posted by ectx
Allergy testing usually involoves a series of very tiny pricks done in a panel or grid form (think grid of nails barely pricking your skin). Each needle administers an allergen. The MD or nurse then notes to which allergen you have a reaction after about 20 minutes (this is for a standard prick test, there are other tests...intradermal, skin patch...but standard prick is the most common). Depending on who's doing this they'll measure the diameter of the reaction you get. They then cand do a couple of things depending on the allergy. They can tell you what you're allergic to and simply prescribe avoiding it, or administer immunotherapy...in which they basically form a cocktail of allergens that you react to at a very small dose and you receive a series of injections that will desensitize your immune system to the allergen. The amount of allergen you get is gradually increased over 2 years. You'll see results after about 6 months.