|The second type of testing is known as Skin Testing. There are different ways to perform this test, however in each method the skin is injected with a small amount of the suspected allergen in the doctor’s office. Within 15 minutes, you should know which of the allergens are positive, as there will be a swelling at the injection site, much like a bee sting. The hives are then measured to see how severe the allergies are.
The advantage to this type of testing is the immediate knowing of which foods to avoid. In this case as well, there is a possibility of having “false positives”. If you are allergic to almonds, you may appear to have an allergy to peaches, which are in the same family. You may be able to eat peaches freely on the other hand, but go into anaphylactic shock if you eat a pastry that has almonds.
Probably the most accurate and the most controversial of all, is the food challenge test. This is when the patient is fed the suspected allergen in a controlled and well-supervised medical setting. If a person has an allergic reaction, there is a trained team ready to handle the situation. If there is no reaction, you can assume that particular food is safe.
Your allergist can recommend what he or she thinks is best in your particular situation, and it is very important to have a close relationship with one another to achieve the most benefit to you. I personally would discourage ANY form of food challenge at home. You must have proper medical supervision to avoid a potentially deadly situation.