Those Knowing Needles: What to Know the First Time You Go in for Allergy Shots

Allergies can be a royal pain in the butt, especially if you don’t know what you’re actually allergic to. That’s where allergy shots can come in handy.

We know, they sound scary – but they really aren’t.

Doing anything for the first time can be unsettling, but that why we put together a nice little guide all about it. That way by the time you go in you’ll feel like you have a handle on what’s going on.

What are Allergy Shots and Tests?

With 10.6 percent of children reporting repository allergies – the allergy shots and tests are becoming more and more popular.

Allergy shots are somewhat like a vaccine, it’s an injection made to help your body deal with your allergies better. You get shots in increasing doses to help you build up a resistance to that allergen.

But first things first, your allergist needs to find out exactly what you are allergic to. Unfortunately, allergy shots can’t do much for are contaminants like the contaminants from a fire.

During the test, the allergist will place different allergins under your skin the read the results. It may seem simple but it is a medical procedure and you want to make sure that the results are read correctly.

That’s why it’s best to go to an allergy clinic so you can get the most accurate reading possible.

What to Expect During Your Allergy Test

Most allergy tests are done on your forearm – but there are two ways that the allergist can perform the test, puncture and intradermal.

When the puncture test is done the allergist will use a plastic device to puncture your skin and insert the allergin. With the intradermal way, a needle is used to inject the allergen.

The test takes about 10 mins to perform, then once the allergens are in your skin it takes another 15 mins before the results can be read.

Typically what the allergist is looking for the skin turning red, there could be small bumps or itching as well.

See, Allergy Tests and Shots Aren’t That Scary

While there is no actual cure for allergies – allergy shots can make it more comfortable to live with them.

There are a few tips to help you prepare for your test. Don’t worry they don’t involve studying.

You are going to want to tell you allergist all of the medications you are taking, prescription and over the counter. Your allergist will let you know if it’s okay to keep taking them as is or if you need to stop taking them before the test.

He or she will most likely also tell you to stop taking any antihistamines – that way they won’t interfere with the test.

If you want to tell us how your allergy test went or to let us know what was most helpful to you, send us a letter. We’d love to hear from you!

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.