NHS Service

How to Get an Allergy Test in the UK


Allergy Test

Allergies are a very common occurrence throughout the population. In the UK, we have one of the highest rates of allergies per capita in the world with over 20% of the population suffering from one or more allergic disorders.  Allergies can range from hay fever to food allergies and encompass both asthma and skin conditions such as eczema. An allergy test may be something to consider when difficult to discern. Touchwood Pharmacy provides allergy testing in Northolt and Walsall.  

What types of allergy tests do I need?

There may be different kinds of allergy tests depending on what types of allergies you are suffering from. Here is a list of some allergy tests you can receive:

Skin Testing

This can involve skin prick testing or intradermal skin testing. The first is when the skin is slightly pricked with the allergen and the latter is when the allergen is placed slightly under the skin using a small needle.

Blood Tests

Sometimes allergies may have an autoimmune origin and IgE tests (RAST) may be called for. Your GP will determine if your allergies are suited to be analysed by these tests.

Spirometry (Lung Function Test)

This test is for asthma and sometimes is used for individuals who have comorbid (existing together) allergies and asthma.

Food Challenges

This is to help determine or confirm a food allergy. Incremental doses of a food are given to the patient beginning with a very small quantity. This can only be performed under the supervision of a medical professional due to risk of adverse reaction.

Food allergies may cause anaphylaxis or other symptoms such as gastro-intenstinal distress. It may cause rashes, headaches, tummy upset and other not-so-obvious symptoms.

Patch Testing
Used for dermatitis, this helps to determine the underlying trigger or agent. Patches of suspected allergens are placed on the back of the patient. After 48 hours, the patches are removed and the results are read- in most cases, between 2 and 5 days, but in some cases after 10 days.

If you need an allergy test in the UK, you can visit our website for further information. If you are in distress or are experiencing any symptoms of anaphylaxis, which may include difficulty breathing or the feeling as though your throat is closing, please call 999 immediately. Following any allergy attacks, you can visit our website for information as to where you canget tested for allergies in the UK.  www.touchwoodpharmacy.com