Venom Skin Test
This is the most sensitive form of venom testing and is used by most allergists. Using the skin to diagnose venom allergies is the most efficient because a large number of allergy cell reside in the skin. A blood test could also be performed to test venom allergies. This has a lower sensitivity but it is useful in patients with severe stinging reactions and can’t tolerate skin testings.
How is a venom skin test performed?
During this test, two small amounts of liquid is applied to arms or back. One will contain the suspected venom while the other will be the control site and contain no venom. Using a small sterile probe, the skin is pricked to allow the liquid to seep under the skin. Minutes later, a hive may form on the test site and will be compared to the control site.
During this treatment you will be given allergy shots for insect stings. Small amounts of the venom allergen are injected into your body over time. Your body will then get used to the allergen and you will have less of a reaction to the venom. This desensitization is useful for patients who have severe reactions to insect stings.