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August 22, 2022

New in our skin center: modern allergy diagnostics with ALEX² from MADx

Allergy diagnostics Dr. Kors
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In Germany, around one in three people will experience an allergic reaction to a certain substance (allergen) in the course of their lives. Over the last 30 years, the number of allergy cases has steadily increased. The most common forms include hay fever, asthma and neurodermatitis. Many of those affected do not even know that they suffer from an allergy suffer from an allergy. With appropriate diagnostics and therapy, the symptoms caused by the allergy can be alleviated. For example, if you suffer from a cold, cough, breathing problems, watery eyes, skin rash or itching, this may indicate an allergy. For modern and comprehensive allergy diagnostics, we at the Weißensee Skin Center have recently started using the ALEX2 allergy test from MADx . This provides an almost complete picture of your sensitization status with just one short and uncomplicated test procedure.

What are allergies?

Allergies are triggered by so-called allergens. These are actually harmless foreign substances that are classified as dangerous by the immune system. This leads to a hypersensitivity reaction of the immune system, which can manifest itself in various ways, such as watery and itchy eyes, swollen mucous membranes, runny nose, coughing or skin rashes. Typical allergens are:

  • Pollen in general
  • Animal hair
  • House dust mites
  • Insect venom
  • Medication
  • Foodstuffs
  • Metals
  • In order to defend itself against these supposedly harmful substances, the immune system triggers immune reactions. This leads to an excessive immune reaction in the form of inflammatory processes, which causes the aforementioned symptoms.

    How do allergies develop?

    The causes of allergic reactions or the tendency to them are often familial. This predisposition is known as atopy. Whether this predisposition actually develops into an allergy usually depends on environmental factors. For example, environmental pollutants such as air pollution or cigarette smoke can promote allergies.

    Allergies often occur for the first time in childhood or adolescence. The symptoms are usually mild at first and can worsen over time. Other allergies can also disappear on their own in the course of life. This can be observed especially with certain triggers such as milk or chicken eggs. However, most allergies last a lifetime.

    How does diagnostics with ALEX² from MADx work?

    Allergy diagnostics
    Picture: ALEX from MADx

    Conventional allergy diagnostics are carried out using the so-called prick test. Possible allergens are applied to the skin of the forearm. The substances enter the body by lightly pricking the skin. If an allergy is present, changes appear in the corresponding areas of skin in the form of swelling, redness or wheals. Other test methods include the epicutaneous test (patch test), in which allergens are applied to the back with a patch for one to three days, the provocation test, in which the allergens are dripped onto the nasal mucosa, and blood tests in the laboratory, in which the blood is examined for antibodies.

    As the allergen spectrum is very broad, it is often not so easy to test for specific allergens or to immediately identify the allergens that trigger them. The tests for food allergies can also lead to abdominal pain, discomfort and severe skin rashes, which is particularly unpleasant for children.

    This is where the modern allergy test with ALEX2 from MADx comes in. With just one test, 295 allergens, including 154 possible foods, can be tested simultaneously, providing an almost complete picture of the entire sensitization status.

    What happens during allergy diagnostics with ALEX² from MADx?

    Allergy screening with ALEX² from MADx requires a small amount of blood from the patient, as with the conventional blood test. This is taken from the vein in the crook of the arm with minimal pain. Patients usually only notice a small prick or a slight feeling of pressure at the donor site.

    The blood sample is then analyzed in the laboratory. A tiny amount is sufficient to test the sample for almost 300 different allergens and possible cross-allergies. The results are analyzed individually for each patient using intelligent software and presented in a clear and concise report. This is then explained in the doctor-patient consultation.

    More on allergy diagnosis and treatment

    Do you suspect that you or your child has an allergy? Dr. Kors will be happy to advise you on allergy testing with ALEX2 from MADx and possible allergy treatments. Simply arrange your individual appointment at the Weißensee Skin Center.

    last update: 6.9.2022

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