Allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to a substance because it thinks that substance is harmful. Allergic reactions can cause skin irritations and rashes, along with swelling in sinuses, airways, and the digestive tract. Evaluation for allergies can be performed using a blood test called R.A.S.T. (radioallergosorbent test), which determines the substances a person is allergic to. This method is different from SET (Set Endpoint Titration), or allergy skin testing, which requires skin pin pricks that may cause skin itching, rashes, irritation, and redness. The bothersome results of skin testing may last several hours or days. Furthermore, skin testing requires that patients stop medications, such as antihistamines and beta blockers, during the testing period. With RAST testing, there is no need to stop your medications. After testing, Dr. Agresti will counsel you regarding the results and make recommendations for treatment, which may include: environmental controls, food avoidance, oral allergy immunotherapy, or allergy shots. Treating your allergies is important because it can have an extremely positive effect on your overall health.