NHS Service

Understanding Peanut Allergy Testing

Peanut Allergy Testing

Peanut allergies are on the rise with more children given a peanut allergy diagnosis each year. It is not fully understood why peanut allergy is becoming more common, but what is agreed on is that the intensity of the allergy is becoming more serious. For some, even just mild exposure to peanuts can cause a severe reaction called anaphylaxis. That is why so many labels on food now list whether or not they are nut free.

Peanuts are usually harmless for most people to consume and their bodies do not have any abnormal reactions to them. However, for those with a peanut allergy, their bodies react in a completely different way. An allergic reaction is essentially the immune system going into overdrive when it comes into contact with what it identifies as a foreign body, otherwise known as an allergen. The immune system releases a rush of histamine which causes an allergic reaction. This reaction can cause a chain of events in the body that could become fatal if there is no medical intervention.

Often, it is easy to identify whether you or your child are allergic to certain substances or foods like peanuts because of an immediate allergic reaction after exposure. Symptoms can include difficulty breathing, swelling, rashes, or light headedness. Other times, it may be difficult to pinpoint which allergen is causing the allergy attack, making it much harder to treat and prevent. That is where peanut allergy testing comes in.

Testing for peanut allergies in the UK is generally painless and pharmacies can usually provide swift results.

Some of the most common tests are:
Skin Prick Tests: A drop of liquid extracted from a potential allergen, such as peanuts, is put on the arm and the skin underneath is given a quick prick. If there is an allergy, a red, itchy bump will appear within 15 minutes.

Blood Tests: Blood samples are taken and tested for certain antibodies that are indicative of an allergic response.

If you are wanting peanut allergy testing in Sydenham, London, Streatham, or elsewhere in the UK, visit Touchwood Pharmacy. They offer quick and discreet allergy testing services that can be easily booked online or over the phone. To find out more, visit  https://www.touchwoodpharmacy.com/