The concept behind immunotherapy (allergy shots) is that the immune system can be desensitized to specific allergens that trigger allergy symptoms. The allergen(s) are identified through a combination of a medical evaluation performed by a trained allergist, and an allergy diagnostic testing (skin or allergy blood tests).
Allergy immunotherapy is a proven effective treatment for allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma and stinging insect allergy. It also may be effective in some individuals with atopic dermatitis (eczema) if they have allergies to airborne allergens. Currently, immunotherapy for food allergies* is not recommended and strict avoidance of the food is advised although investigations with oral desensitization for food allergies are in progress in the United States. Immunotherapy can potentially lead to lasting remission of allergy symptoms, and it may play a preventive role in the development of asthma and new allergies.