Diagnostics

Allergy testing

allergy skin test, skin testing for allergies, scratch test, puncture test, skin prick testing (SPT), intolerance test, allergy screening, allergy blood test

At The London Clinic, we offer the latest tests to treat common and rare allergies. Our world-leading specialists are experts in adult and paediatric allergy triggers and treatments. Why wait? With an in-house testing centre, we can diagnose and treat you within days.

 

 

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What is it for?

Advanced screening for common and rare allergens

Overview

As a centre of excellence, we offer advanced allergy testing for children and adults, to diagnose and treat allergies including asthma, hay fever and anaphylaxis.

At The London Clinic our team of expert allergy consultants and ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists, may recommend an allergy test if you or your child have symptoms of:

  • Eczema
  • Asthma
  • Hay fever
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Tiredness
  • Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis)
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Allergy testing at The London Clinic

At The London Clinic we offer one of the most comprehensive and quick allergy testing services available with all our tests carried out in our in-house pathology department.

Our world-leading experts in dermatology, immunology, gastroenterology and ear, nose and throat (ENT) are able to offer allergy testing to find out which substances you’re reacting to.

Allergy testing at The London Clinic is available as a single service, or as part of a treatment plan. Allergy testing and treatment normally requires two to three appointments, which take place in our comfortable and discreet consulting rooms, located in central London.

Testing normally requires a few separate visits. At your first consultation, your specialist will take a full medical history, to find out which foods, chemicals and substances to test. At your next appointment your specialist will carry out the allergy test, which will either be a patch, prick test, blood test or a combination of them. If you’re having a patch test, you need to come back to The London Clinic a couple of days after, so the nurse can check your progress.

On your third visit your specialist will give you your test results and explain the best treatment for you. All the tests we offer are non-invasive and are unlikely to have side effects. At The London Clinic we have our own in-house pathology department, where all our tests are sent for analysis.

Performing the tests in-house means we meet the highest medical standards and there’s a shorter wait time for results. By choosing The London Clinic you’ll get a more complete, compassionate kind of care from pre-admission, right through to aftercare and follow up. Contact us today to start your treatment journey and get back to living the life you love.

Why choose The London Clinic

Excellence in one place

We operate as teams of experts with world-class resources dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of medical care. You are surrounded by the latest treatments and advice with everything you need to get back to your best health.

Personal care, every time

Exceptional patient care is a way of life for us. Our nurses, clinicians and support teams are dedicated to the care of a very small number of patients, so have more time for you. They’ll be with you every step of the way, tailoring your care around you and giving the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing you’re in the best hands.

Effortlessly simple

We work together as one to guide you through each step of your experience, with complexities unravelled and answers readily to hand. Your personal treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.

What's included in your package?

Choosing The London Clinic means your treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.

 

Your treatment package will include:

  • Enhanced pre-admission assessment
  • Your treatment with our complete care team at your fingertips
  • Personalised aftercare and follow-up

We want you to be in control of your health. That’s why we also offer optional services such as comprehensive recovery packages and extra touches for you to choose from during your stay with us.

How to pay

  • You can use private medical insurance (PMI) to access this treatment. We work with all major PMI providers in the UK and many internationally
  • You can pay for yourself (self-pay)
  • If you’re paying for yourself, we have finance options available with Chrysalis
     

FAQs

Skin allergy testing works by putting an allergen, such as milk or latex onto the skin to see how your skin reacts. A blood test is another way to diagnose if you have an allergy.

At The London Clinic we offer several types of allergy tests, which your allergy specialist will discuss with you.

Pin prick testing allows us to test for several possible allergens at the same time.

At The London Clinic the pin prick allergy test takes around 25 minutes.

First, we clean and sterilise the skin on your forearm.

Then we draw a numbered grid, from 1 to 16 on your forearm, using ink that you can wash off with water.

Finally we place a drop of liquid containing the allergen (e.g, pollen, dust mite, cow’s milk) on your forearm in one of the numbered boxes.

Your specialist then uses a sterile needle to gently prick your skin under the drop of liquid, containing the allergen. After fifteen minutes if any of the sections of skin on your forearm become bumpy, red and itchy, it indicates that you have had an allergic reaction to that substance.

When you come into contact with a substance that you are allergic to, your immune system releases a substance called histamine. Histamine causes the main symptoms of an allergic reaction, including red, itchy and bumpy skin, asthma-like breathing problems and rarely anaphylactic shock.

Patch testing helps your specialist identify which chemical (non-food) substances might aggravate your skin.

Patch testing does not detect allergies that might be related to diet, asthma or hay fever.

Patch testing at The London Clinic usually involves a few separate visits.

1. At your first appointment your consultant takes a complete medical history, to work out which substances you might be allergic to.

2. On your second visit your specialist will put some, pre-prepared patches on your skin, usually your back or upper arm. The patches are a way to test which environmental substances (allergens) you might be allergic to, such as latex, cosmetics and perfumes.

3. Each patch is pre-prepared by us and usually contains ten separate chemical substances (allergens). We will ask you to come back to the clinic after a couple of days so your specialist can check the patches. If any areas of the skin tested become red, bumpy or inflamed it indicates that the substance tested is an allergen. An allergy blood test is used in cases where pin prick or patch tests may not be suitable.

If you are pregnant, extremely sensitive, or have severe contact dermatitis, your specialist may take an allergy blood sample, to identify specific substances that you are allergic to.

It’s estimated that one in three people in the UK have some kind of allergy and that one in four people suffer from hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis).

It’s also estimated around 8% of children in the UK under the age of three have a food allergy.

Allergies to substances, such as pollen or peanuts, can be mild or sometimes life threatening.

Our allergy testing service at The London Clinic offers the most accurate and up-to-date testing and diagnosis in the UK.

Allergens can cause severe allergic reactions including anaphylactic shock (anaphylaxis), which can be life threatening and needs immediate medical attention. Symptoms include:

  • Swelling of the throat and mouth
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Lightheadedness
  • Confusion, collapsing or losing consciousness
  • Blue skin or lips
  • Clammy skin

At The London Clinic if you have had a diagnosis of anaphylaxis, we can carry out blood tests and skin tests to identify the key triggers and assist you with a treatment plan to help overcome them.

Allergy testing allows us to precisely pinpoint the allergens that are causing an allergic reaction in your body.

Once we identify an allergen, we can effectively treat conditions such as eczema, hay fever and rhinitis.

If you have a food allergy, testing to find out which food is causing the allergy, can help you manage it better.

This might be through allergy treatments including :

  • Diet modification (e.g elimination diet)
  • Immunotherapy (desensitisation)
  • Medications (e.g. antihistamines)

If you have an environmental allergy to pollen or a household chemical, having a patch test or an allergy blood test can identify it and help your allergy specialist find the right treatment for you.

Allergy testing is safe with very few side effects.

For some patients who are very allergic, small blisters (vesicles) may develop a few days after a patch or pin prick test.

If this side effect happens, your specialist may give you a medical cream or tablets to settle the reaction.

Pigmentary changes, a lightening or darkening of the tested skin, can happen, but this is rare andonly temporary.

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