If you’ve been told that you need a TB skin test, you might be wondering what it is and why it’s important. In this article, we’ll answer all your questions about TB skin tests, including how they work, what they’re used for, and how to get one.
What is a TB skin test?
A TB skin test is a simple, non-invasive way to determine if you have been exposed to the bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB). The test involves injecting a small amount of a substance called tuberculin into the skin on your forearm. You will then need to return to the clinic within 48-72 hours to have the test read by a healthcare provider.
How does a TB skin test work?
The tuberculin used in the test contains proteins that are found in the TB bacteria. If you have been exposed to the bacteria, your immune system will have developed a response to these proteins, which will cause a reaction at the site of the injection. The healthcare provider will measure the size of the reaction to determine if you have been infected with TB.
Why might I need a TB skin test?
There are several reasons why you might need a TB skin test, including:
- You have been in close contact with someone who has TB
- You have symptoms of TB, such as coughing, fever, and night sweats
- You are starting a new job or going to school in a high-risk setting, such as a healthcare facility or correctional institution
- You have a weakened immune system, such as from HIV/AIDS or certain medications
If you have any of these risk factors, it’s important to get a skin test to determine if you have been infected with TB. Early detection and treatment can help prevent the spread of TB and improve your health outcomes.
How do I get a TB skin test?
You can get a TB skin test at Nao Medical, an urgent care and primary care chain serving the community for over a decade. Our clinics offer many additional services, including mental health, nutrition, and women’s health, that set us apart from traditional urgent care chains that only focus on the problems that patients present with.
At Nao Medical, our skin tests are quick and easy, with short wait times and caring staff. We also offer telemedicine and after hour services so that patients can get care how and when they need it.
What should I expect during the TB skin test?
During the test, a small amount of tuberculin will be injected into the skin on your forearm. You will then need to return to the clinic within 48-72 hours to have the test read by a healthcare provider.
Does the TB skin test hurt?
The injection may cause a slight prick or pinch, but most people do not experience any pain or discomfort during or after the test. The skin may become slightly raised or red at the site of the injection, but this is normal and should go away within a few hours.
What do the results of the TB skin test mean?
If you have a positive TB skin test, it means that you have been infected with the bacteria that cause TB. However, it does not necessarily mean that you have active TB disease. You will need further testing, such as a chest X-ray, to determine if you have active TB disease.
If you have a negative skin test, it means that you have not been infected with TB or that your immune system has not yet responded to the infection. However, if you have been in close contact with someone who has TB, you may need to be tested again in the future.
Are there any side effects of the TB skin test?
The TB skin test is a safe and non-invasive test, and most people do not experience any side effects. In rare cases, some people may experience a severe allergic reaction to the tuberculin, but this is extremely rare.
If you need a skin test, don’t delay in getting one. Nao Medical offers high-quality, affordable healthcare services in NY and NYC, with a strong focus on total whole body and mind care, and a commitment to leveraging innovative technology to keep our patients healthy.
Remember, early detection and treatment of TB can help prevent the spread of the disease and improve your health outcomes. Book an appointment at Nao Medical today to get the care you need.