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Old 08-18-2004, 03:16 PM   #1
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Allergy Testing~ how accurate?

I am having 'Allergy Testing' done next Thursday, due to some very strange recent "intense itching" that I have developed all over my body, with no apparent signs or reason. Is the Allergy testing accurate? and how can they test for if a person is allergic to medications and/or cosmetics? they said they can only test for whatever has "proteins" in it? All I want is for this intense itching that keeps me up all night to go away, and get my life back to normal where I can sleep> I have not really changed anything....except for used a different laundry soap recently...but I have never had any problems before with any soaps or cosmetics of any kind. I just find this so strange. I do not want Prednisone shots either. I have heard so many bad things about Prednisone. Any help? and has anyone ever had a severe itching reaction to a change in laundry soap? can one become or develop an allergy to their pet, even if they have had the pet almost a year now?
please help.
itching is driving me crazy.

 
Old 08-18-2004, 05:01 PM   #2
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Re: Allergy Testing~ how accurate?

Okay.. I would say that the testing is fairly accurate. They go through with all of the substances that they are going to test and they put a little drop on your skin and scratch it. They also do two controls (one that is just saline and won't cause a reaction, and one that will cause a reaction in everybody). So any of those spots that get puffy and itchy (like a mosquito bite) are things that you are allergic to. Then they may want to check on some other things that you didn't react to in this test, so they take a small needle and inject a little right under the skin because this is a more sensitive test. The testing doesn't really hurt much. It kind of tickles and can get a little annoying, but it isn't bad.

Generally, prednisone shots aren't given for allergies in humans as far as I know. Depending on what you are allergic to, you may just be able to avoid it. An allergy medicine might help. If you turn out to be allergic to something you can't avoid (like dust, or a pet that you don't want to get rid of) and medicine doesn't work, you could decide to get allergy shots, but they aren't prednisone. Basically they take a little bit of what you are allergic to and inject it, then you keep increasing the dose until you develop a tolerance.

And yes, you can develop allergies over time. Especially to things that you haven't been exposed to much in the past. So if you've never had a pet or spent time around them, then you got this pet a year ago, it is possible that you have developed an allergy to it.

 
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Old 08-19-2004, 04:26 PM   #3
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Re: Allergy Testing~ how accurate?

prednisone is normally only prescribed when nothing else has worked or if the patient is in an emergent state. Cortisone shots are usually only administered to patients who are in crisis. Normally if prednisone is needed it is administered as a pill. I have had to take it many, many times to stop severe allergic reactions. I don't recommend it, but it has kept me out of the hospital and alive many times.

Allergy testing if fairly accurate although not perfect. I do not know of any testing for medication allergy. I have been tested for a preservative that is commonly used in cosmetics - I'm allergic to it.

 
Old 08-19-2004, 04:50 PM   #4
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Re: Allergy Testing~ how accurate?

Do you go tanning, in the sun or in a tanning bed? Do you go swimming? Did anything change recently(you may have to call about this) in your city's water system(IE: did they change chemicals in it?)?
Usually intense itching all over(does it wake you up at nite?) means you are being immersed in something, like a tanning bed's UV rays/ sun's UV rays, or heavily chlorinated/water with a lot of chemicals in it or change of. And usually steroid creams don't help much.
I don't know why they are sending you for allergy testing, in this kind of situation, this can be pretty dangerous to the person with skin allergies.. it can cause a whole load of rashes that are tricky to treat. Generally it's best to wait until you have calmed down.
you may need to do a lot of trial & error, that's my best suggestion as you will find the allergy testing will only make things worse. My advice to you is try to remove one thing you suspect is triggering the itching at a time, and see if that helps(use a different lotion, brand of makeup, detergent, soap, shampoo, cleaning solution, etc, etc,). Do you have a cleaning lady? Is it possible if not, to get one for a day & have them scrub your place clean of dust? Dust is a HUGE trigger for me.. you may want to consider wall to wall hardwood floors & air purifiers & filters & allergen proof bed encasings.
Also look for things in your diet that have felt funny or that you have done differently.
Try changing your antihistamines.. sometimes different ones will work better than others. You may need a short, low dose burst of prednisone. In TINY amounts, it will probably do the trick. Good luck, let me know if you need anymore advice.. i'm the skin allergies guru over here=)

 
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