Some people may decide to seek help for their allergies through private healthcare, rather than NHS services.
If you do choose to go through a private healthcare provider but have already been referred to an
NHS-operated allergy service, please let your GP know as soon as possible so that you can be removed from
the waiting list. This will allow others to get the help they need sooner.
There are several ways healthcare professionals may diagnose your allergy, depending on the type of allergy you may
have. The most common method is skin prick testing. This involves putting a small drop of liquid onto your forearm
which contains a dose of the suspected allergen. They will then gently prick your skin and, if you’re
allergic, an itchy, red bump should appear after a few minutes. The test is perfectly safe and isn’t usually
painful, but you may find it a little uncomfortable.
If your GP suspects you have a specific allergy, they may run a blood test to confirm it or, if you have a suspected food allergy, they may suggest you do an oral food challenge. An oral food challenge is conducted in a controlled environment – such as a hospital – under the supervision of a trained specialist – you cannot carry out this test yourself at home. You will be given a very small amount of the allergen and a healthcare professional will closely monitor you for signs of an allergic reaction.
To learn more about allergies, visit Allergy UK