Allergy Skin Testing
Skin testing is a quick and easy way to assess your allergen sensitivities. Testing usually takes about an hour and is performed in two parts. You will have your results before you leave the office.
Due to insurance regulations, we may not be able to perform a skin test on your initial office visit. If this is the case, we will schedule your skin testing after your first visit.
In order to get an accurate result, we request that you stop using all antihistamines 4 days prior to your appointment. This may also include Tylenol PM, medications for vertigo such as Meclizine, prescription sleep meds, or medication taken for anxiety, or various cold and allergy medications.
The Two Parts of Skin Testing:
Part 1: Prick testing
The first part of the testing is a poke to your skin using a sharp prong. Each prong used has a different allergen solution on it. How many prick tests we do depends on what we’re trying to find.
Once the prick test has been performed, the results of the test will be read after 15 minutes. Don’t worry, typically the worst you will get is a “mosquito bite” type of response to an allergen you are sensitive to.
Part 2: Intradermal testing
The second (and final) part involves injecting tiny amounts of allergens into your skin, usually your upper arm. We decide how many intradermal tests you need based on the results on your initial prick test. As with the prick test, the results will be read after 15 minutes. The doctor may use a pen to make marks on your arm; please leave these markings on for up to 48 hours. We do this to keep an eye on any possible delayed responses.
Testing for Children
AAPRI offers skin testing for children as well as adults. Generally, children 6 months and older can be tested, but your doctor will advise you. The prick test performed on children is usually done on their back. Depending on their age, we may also do intradermal testing. If so, we may prescribe a numbing cream to ease your child’s possible discomfort during the test.
To prepare for your skin test, please read these instructions: Allergy Skin Testing Information
If you were prescribed a numbing cream, please read these instructions on how to apply it.