Eczema Trigger Identification: Beyond the Prick Test
The prick test… Millions of eczema sufferers have done it along with a couple million other allergy sufferers. The drill is to go to the doctor, he or she sends you for a few dozen needle pricks, and you go home with a list of eczema triggers to avoid. Sounds like a simple solution, right? Wrong.
It is a straightforward concept. A purified version of a suspect, like ragweed or cat hair, is injected into the skin through a small needle. Over the next 2-5 days, the site of the injection (or injections because prick tests are normally conducted on 20-100 possible triggers simultaneously) is monitored for a reaction.
Any reaction is noted and the patient is told to avoid those items or a flare up will happen occur. A hopeful patient goes home and tries to avoid those triggers. Then, reality hits. Eventually, they have a flare up despite avoiding their triggers. Even more confusing, they are exposed to the trigger and a flare never happens.
These conflicting situations occur too frequently. According to a recent study by the Salem Clinic, the prick test is extremely unreliable. Their published results revealed remarkable inaccuracies. In most cases, a negative result is correct but 1 in 2 positive results are actually false.
A false positive means you are not actually reactive to a trigger although you seemed to have a reaction. You spend too much wasted time and money avoiding triggers. You wind up frustrated when the eczema inexplicably returns.
Likewise, a prick test cannot test every possible trigger. No one could endure that many pricks. Even worse, scientists now know some triggers only cause a reaction when combined with other triggers, such as smoke and wool. In this example, the prick test would have been reactive only if the individual prick tested for both smoke and wool simultaneously.
So, what does it all mean? Your immune system is extremely complex. The immune malfunction causing eczema is also complex. Unfortunately, the process of identifying your eczema triggers is not going to be as simple as a few pricks from a needle and you’re done.
Fortunately, there are much more reliable methods to help you finally control your eczema triggers. In fact, they are not only more reliable they are safer and cheaper. The prick test may be a starting point, but you can get just as accurate results without even one needle.
It is called the trigger identification process and it is a process, but not overly difficult. It requires a “cleansing of the pallet” where you do your best to remove all possible triggers. Then, you carefully reintroduce triggers individually. Those with an obvious reaction and withheld and reintroduced later to validate the finding. After individual triggers are identified and avoided, then trigger combinations are introduced in the same manner.
It takes time, but it is an extremely more accurate process than the prick test. However, it is not something you should do on your own without expert guidance. Once again, that’s not as hard as it sounds. There is an excellent tool you can use to do it.
The e-book Eczema Free has a step-by-step plan to identify, avoid, and control your reaction to eczema triggers. It starts with a detoxification period to cleanse your body of all potential contaminants. Then, it walks you though trigger introduction and elimination. An additional perk to the program is it allows you to take breaks logically, letting you test and rest on your own schedule without hindering your results.
Another perk to Eczema Free is it goes beyond eczema triggers, something the prick test could never do. It teaches you practical ways to avoid or control exposure. More importantly, it helps you correct the internal problems causing the eczema reaction for those times when a trigger cannot be avoided.
You may only have been researching the prick test, you may be dreading it, or you may just be frustrated with your results. It is time to have hope. There is better solution, beyond the prick test, to both identifying your eczema triggers and stopping your eczema flare ups.
CLICK on the link below to learn more.