I’ve had allergies ever since I was young! Asthma, eczema etc etc. Luckily the asthma went away. Now, I’m just stuck with eczema (aka dermatitis). Anything can trigger it – the “wrong” soap, the “wrong” shampoo, the “wrong” food. Oh… poor me.. LOL! I joke! I shamelessly use it as an excuse to buy the good stuff, or rather, more stuff. Recently, I’ve had a crazy bout of allergic reactions. It’s been happening weekly, every Friday like clockwork since December. I tried my hardest to figure it out but caved in to having an allergy test. This post is about my allergy test and my allergies.
Let’s start with why I caved in to the allergy test. Since December, after the Christmas party, my face swelled up and turned (and stayed) red. 2 days later, my skin turned crusty and started peeling. And it peeled for days! Below is a picture of my skin when it was peeling.
This happened every weekend like clockwork. I thought it was something I ate but I couldn’t figure it out even by process elimination. One day, I got a reaction so bad that the skin start to split and bleed. Ouch! That’s when I finally decided to book in an allergy specialist. Who wouldn’t! Here are a few pictures of the allergy specialist’s office.
It was quite interesting to see an allergy specialist. He needed all the details, even details about small allergies like earrings. They were charts on the walls stating which group of allergens belong together. For example, if you are allergic to a certain types of vegetables as well. There are 2 types of tests, the skin prick test and the patch test. I did the skin prick test. The doctor first determines which allergens you are likely to be allergic to and then tests it. They don’t put the actual allergens on the skin but the “ingredient” of the allergen. They then prick the top layer (epidermis) of the skin and wait 10 minutes for the reaction. It’s not as painful as an injection but maybe like a skin prick. Once they find out which ones you are allergic to, they test the intensity of the reaction.
After all that, the doctor will review the information and form a plan. It was quite pricey (AUD$300) but well worth the money. The total time spent in there was almost 2 hours. Although it didn’t give me all the answers I needed, I found out that I’m not allergic to animals! Hooray! Allergy reactions can be quite complication. As the doctor did mention that one allergen alone might not cause a reaction but a combination of one or more, could.
Hope you found this useful if you decide to go to the allergy specialist!