Allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. There’s only one way to determine which substances trigger your allergies:Get allergy testing. Carlos Vaca, MD, identifies your specific allergens with skin tests and then creates a customized treatment plan that brings much needed relief from your symptoms. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Miami or use the online booking feature.
As a group, allergies cause the following symptoms:
Allergies to food, insect venom, latex, and some medications can cause a severe, potentially life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. If you experience shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, and weakness, call 911 for immediate medical care.
You’ll need to have allergy testing before Dr. Vaca can start treatment with allergy shots (immunotherapy). However, you should also consider getting tested if you experience:
If you have asthma or eczema, you may also want to talk with Dr. Vaca about allergy testing. Many patients find that their allergens trigger asthma and eczema flare-ups.
Skin tests are frequently used for allergy testing because they produce quick results and they detect most allergens. Dr. Vaca may recommend one of three types of skin tests:
During a skin-prick test, Dr. Vaca puts a tiny drop of your suspected allergen on your skin and then gently pricks or scratches the skin underneath the allergen. If you’re allergic to the substance, you’ll develop a skin reaction within 15 minutes.
This test is performed by injecting a small dose of allergen under your skin. You’ll have a quick skin reaction if you’re allergic to the substance. Dr. Vaca may recommend an intradermal test if your skin-prick test was inconclusive or he suspects a drug or insect-venom allergy.
Dr. Vaca uses patch testing to identify contact allergens such as poison ivy, detergents, and latex. Dr. Vaca places a small sample of numerous possible allergens on a patch. Then he places the patch against your skin, usually on your back. You wear the patch for 48 hours, and then go back to the office so Dr. Vaca can check for skin reactions. Most patients wear the patch for a few more days to allow extra time for a reaction to develop.
If there’s a chance you’ll have a severe reaction to a skin test, Dr. Vaca may choose to run a blood test to identify your allergens.
If you have questions about allergy testing, call Carlos Vaca, MD, or schedule an appointment