These clinics are for adults (from the age of 16 years) with suspected allergies to foods, drugs and inhalants such as hayfever. We also care for people with recurrent allergic-type rashes and swellings.
We do not usually see people whose main problem is eczema; this is usually managed by dermatology and primary care teams. The most important thing we will do on the day of your appointment is to take a detailed description of your symptoms. Based on this history we may suggest some allergy testing. Allergy testing is not always necessary and this will be discussed on the day. If allergy testing is appropriate, we try to do as much as we can on the day of your appointment, but there might be a short wait or further appointments may be necessary.
We offer four different types of allergy testing:
1. Allergy blood tests.
2. Skin Prick Testing (SPT) – a few gentle scratches on the skin in the presence of your suspected allergens. It is not painful but can get itchy if you react. If you suspect a particular food please follow these instructions;
- Bring a small sample of that food to your appointment. Make sure it is individually wrapped and is not contaminated with anything else.
- Avoid antihistamines for 5 days before your appointment as they will affect the test.
- Please bring a list of your current medicines as some other drugs can rarely affect the test.
3. Intradermal Testing (IDT)
Similar to SPT but small injections are given under the skin. This test is only undertaken for the investigation of certain durg allergies. It is usually on a seperate appointment after your initial visit and will be discussed in further detail if required.
4. Challenge Testing – this will require a separate appointment and is only undertaken in certain circumstances. If it is relevant to you it will be discussed in detail during a clinic visit.
If you suffer daily or frequent symptoms of itchy rash and/or swelling and you rely on regular antihistamines to keep you comfortable then please continue to use them as normal and discuss this with your doctor.
We also offer;
- Self-Injectable Adrenaline Pen Training – full training and advice will be given by our specially-trained nurses if you are prescribed a self-injectable adrenalin pen, to help you feel confident about how and when to use it correctly.
- Allergy Desensitization – in general this is only available for certain insect sting allergies and specific pollen allergies. We can discuss the possibility of desensitization at your allergy clinic appointment.
There is a dedicated Paediatric Allergy Service based in the Paediatric department.